Monday, April 4, 2011


I think I shall never cease to be amazed that we have the ability to view the mysteries of creation and remain unaffected by the reality that God exists.  Romans 1:20 says:  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

This past Saturday, Kailena and I were given the opportunity to experience exactly what it means to be “without excuse.”

We began our morning in the Anacortes Forest Lands with a group of Mountaineers.  It soon became evident that Kailena and I would be spending the day hiking alone.  Our ultimate goal was the top of Sugarloaf Mountain.  After the path on which we began took us 360 feet of elevation in 1.5 miles, I stopped to look at the map.  The rain had begun and I questioned the wisdom of continuing on the same path.  I knew we could return to the car, drive up the road and have access to a trail that would allow us to summit the mountain in a much more expedient fashion.  I chose this approach.

Once back at the car, we enjoyed lunch as we admired wild lilies and took in the sounds of running water and chirping birds.  As lunch came to an end, Kailena began to wonder if she wanted to continue on the hike.  I assured her that we’d summit the mountain in 1 mile and that there was only 200 feet of elevation between us and the top.

Without too much encouragement, the 215 trailhead greeted our hiking boots; the trek to Sugarloaf Summit had commenced.  Shortly after we began our ascent, we found ourselves in the company of three eagles.  Many times we stopped and watched in amazement.  There was a moment when one of these magnificent creatures literally flew into the forest above our heads.  In the silence, Kailena and I stood speechless as we watched it effortlessly angle its enormous body (wing-span and all) so as to avoid colliding with the sprawling branches.  A few moments later, the silence was broken by the distinct call of the eagles themselves.

By the time we reached the top, one of the eagles had made his way elsewhere.  Two of them, however decided to maintain a relatively close circling pattern.  At one point, as I was heading to retrieve our trekking poles, I heard Kailena squealing with excitement.

“Mommy! Mommy!” she yelled, “I just saw two of the eagles flying as they FACED each other!  It looked like they were dancing!”

I missed the moment, but Kailena shall NEVER forget it.

Before our feet hit the 215 trailhead, Kailena had questioned whether or not she wanted to make the hike.  As I’m sure you know by now, she didn’t regret choosing to go:  Mossy climbing rocks, awe-inspiring views and, of course THE EAGLES made the climb well worth the effort.

You know:  I said I “missed the moment,” but I really didn’t.  Had I witnessed the eagles waltzing, in all likelihood, I would have been so caught up in the dance than I would have missed my daughter’s response.  In retrospect, I wouldn’t trade the joy of reveling in my daughter’s response for the joy of witnessing the dance.

Isn’t that like our God?  One of His greatest joys is observing the joy of his children (us).  I didn’t know we’d end up separating from the Mountaineers group, but He did.  I didn’t know we’d be re-tracing our steps back to the car, but He did.  I didn’t know we’d be the only two on that hike with three eagles, but He did.  And…I didn’t know that I would reap MORE joy from NOT seeing the eagles dance than I would have from seeing them…but…HE DID!
Deuteronomy 32:10-11
He found him in a desert land,
And in the howling waste of a wilderness;
He encircled him, He cared for him,
He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.

Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
That hovers over its young,
He spread His wings and caught them,
He carried them on His pinions.