Wonders of the World:
I was watching a NetFlix documentary on the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. At 2,717 feet it is the tallest building in the world. At rental rates up to $4,000 a square foot it is also the most expense. The exterior is covered with 1,870,000 sq. ft. of anti-glare glass to help shield the desert sun. The building is so tall that the exterior temperature at the top of the building is 11° cooler than at its base. The building is comprised of the Armani Hotel, residential and corporate suites, restaurants, and a sky observation deck. There are 57 elevators and 8 escalators in the building with the fastest elevator rising and descending at up to 33 ft./sec. As I marveled at this engineering wonder, I thought of all that would go into the design and construction of such a wonder. I am amazed at the skill and expertise that went into its creation. Everything from the architects, engineers, steel workers, and laborers. Then I got to thinking of how this wonder of man is nothing compared to the wonders created by God. Wonders like the Grand Canyon, the mud pots, and geysers of Yellowstone, the hoodoos in Bryce Canon, Crater Lake, Half Dome in Yellowstone, the giant Sequoias and Redwoods, Niagara falls, Mammoth Cave, the Blue Ridge Mountains and I could go on. The wilderness is where I feel closest to God. I think it is because I am amidst His creation. Not a second or third generation, but directly from his hands. “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16 It is this direct connection with God that makes the wilderness so powerful. You cannot go anywhere else and find this connection. You cannot go into the wilderness without coming out changed. In a recent post on one of the group sites I am a member of, a young women posted that she took her first solo camping trip in the wilderness. In her comments she wrote of a peace she has never felt before. That peace is being in the midst of our creator. This is what makes the wilderness such a great environment for what we do. To change, you have to look at things differently. Taking inner city teens into the wilderness is certainly giving them the opportunity to see things differently. Away from the pressures of home, noise and familiarity of the city, they start to experience the wonder of the wilderness. They are more open to new ideas and ways of looking at things. They rely on one another and begin to appreciate each other. This year we have several wilderness adventures already planned.
I will close with John Muir’s challenge to us all, “keep close to Nature’s heart and break clear away.”