I love to hike the trails of the great Pacific Northwest, to marvel at each new unveiled vista as I round a bend or crest a hill.
Sometimes as I walk, I'm reminded of a beautiful summer day in Venice. I walked her narrow, winding streets, and floated along her ancient canals, my mind consumed by the realization that Venice was not only created by artists, but that the city implored all who would visit her to become artists, as there are no words to otherwise express her beauty.Recently, while hiking in the Oregon coastal range, I stopped to inhale the majesty of the surrounding forrest—to be still and experience the awesome handiwork of the Artist. There, in the stillness of the forest, all around me seemed suspended in time, as if all creation were holding its breath. Until a leaf... a single, simple leaf... floated down from some unseen place on high... lazily, silently descending to the forrest floor. Even as I stood there, motionless, taking in the scope of the masterpiece, the Master Artist was still lovingly applying paint to the canvas. But it was not all of nature, it was I who was holding my breath. And as the breath escaped my lips I felt that old, familiar feeling. The world around me was not only created by the Artist, but He was imploring all of us to be the artist that He had created us to be—to live the reality that we are created in the image of the Creator.
I gave thanks to the Creator, and promised anew to use my portion of the creativity He breathed into each of us to offer up humble offerings of thanksgiving and praise.
A New Year
10 months ago