Excellence in the Wilderness

Wildflowers in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

Wildflowers in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

The other day I was listening to a podcast promoting a new (Christian) movie.  The host and director were talking about what made any music or movie stand out and move your mind and emotions.  Their final conclusion was that much of what makes a song stick in your head or a movie worth watching time and again was the excellence within the creativity of the film or music.

Mt. Stewart from Teanaway Ridge, Washington

Mt. Stewart from Teanaway Ridge, Washington

There’s so much that goes into the production of an album or a film that either succeeds or fails at excellence – proper camera angles, the guitar fill in just the right place, actors who can actually act, getting the singer to give their absolute best, the list goes on and on.  I’m sure we’ve all seen or heard creativity that wasn’t quite as excellent as it should have been, and it detracted from the beauty of the film or music.

Bowman Lake from the Numa Lookout Trail in Glacier National Park, Montana

Bowman Lake from the Numa Lookout Trail in Glacier National Park, Montana

The more I thought about their conclusion that it’s excellence that affects our mind and emotions, the more I realized that the same theory applies to our experiences in the wilderness.  When we go out into God’s creation, we experience His excellence, and that excellence affects us – it subtly captures our minds and emotions, bringing us peace and fulfillment.  It’s similar but much stronger than a beautiful song or movie scene; stronger because God is much more perfect than anything even the most anointed musician or film-maker could create.

Fireweed by Stillwater Reservoir en route to the Causeway in the Flat Tops Wilderness of Colorado

Fireweed by Stillwater Reservoir en route to the Causeway in the Flat Tops Wilderness of Colorado

When God had finished creating the world we live in, “God looked upon all that He had made, and indeed, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).  He saw that everything He made was excellent.  God’s work is perfect and good (Deuteronomy 32:4) and that perfection is displayed through His creation.

Clouds float over Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah, near Camp Cannonville

Clouds float over Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah, near Camp Cannonville

When we’re out in the wilderness, we are face to face with God’s excellence in all He does.  It captures our hearts, our minds, our emotions.  It brings peace, it restores hope, it brings healing.

Daisies and lupine along the Summit Trail in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington

Daisies and lupine along the Summit Trail in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington

“Then everyone was completely amazed [at the things Jesus did] and said again and again, “He has done all things well!”” (Mark 7:37)