A slower place...


I’ve talked a bit about what the outdoors do for me…what they do for us all to some degree…taking us to a slower place, where we can breathe, where there’s room for our soul…where God, His Glory, and Heaven are revealed more fully than any other place…
This past weekend I went with a good friend and his family to a small town basketball tournament in Southern Oregon. I don’t know how big the town is, but let’s just say everyone knows everyone, seatbelts were optional, “goin’ muddin’” was a regular activity, and this 6 team basketball tourney just may have doubled the population! :) Most of us laugh at this now a days, but you know what, there was an overwhelming sense of LIFE in that one weekend that cannot be found many places today.

"the ranch"...sorry for the cell phone pic...

We rolled into “the ranch” Friday night, greeted by plenty of food and enough beds for the 9 adults and 6 kids bunking that weekend. We got up early on Saturday morning as 3 of us headed out to call some yotes (note: make sure you charge the call or bring extra batteries if you plan to call anything)…after a short hike, we headed back for breakfast before gathering the entire gang up for some cattle “cuttin’”…yep, 20+ calves went through the chute and many became, to their dismay, steers. Boots on, tools in hand and the anticipation of personality transformations brought the excitement level up as we penned the little ones…and just in time for our first game, at noon, we had the job done! 3 wins later, we unwound at a teammate’s house for the most delicious meal I might ever have…POUNDS of the most tender steak on the barbie, fresh crab and lobster tails with warmed butter and garlic salt, sautéed shrimp in a succulent sauce, cheesy bread and many other hors d’oeuvres…unreal…just unreal. Back at the ranch we finished off the night with some good conversation and hit the hay. We awoke to footsteps on the farmhouse’s wood floors and the smell of coffee, fresh bacon and eggs, strawberry and jam filled crepes and orange juice…played our first game a bit early, then had a break in between games with enough time to visit the cabin, hit some golf balls into the unknown and watch March Madness on TV…we played our last game that afternoon (won the championship by the way ;)) putting a victorious end to the weekend.

Ugh…here comes the work week.

But as I reflected on the weekend, even as I was there, I was reminded of how unnoticed God’s beauty is in the hurried life we all live…often Monday through Friday. And not just the visual beauty of the ranch or surrounding mountains, but the beauty felt inside from the simplicity of life…and those moments you wish could last forever. They come and go of course, but the more I look for and notice them, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, the more frequent they come and the longer they last. Realizing that those moments are glimpses of Heaven, what we were created for but have never known, is profound. As the song says, “When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing it will be!”

Imagine it.



Anonymous,  March 28, 2010 at 7:50 PM  

jeff you're killing me. Do you realize how close that is to my house. I could have brought my pom poms. give a shout next time my friend. joking aside, thanks for the words buddy. I look forward to it every week!

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