Yosemite is beautiful this time of year. Or so I hear.
If all had gone according to plan, I’d be providing a first-hand report this morning…from the floor of Yosemite Valley. Gerri, my traveling companions and I were scheduled to spend the next several days there, in the shadow of El Capitan…walking out behind the lodge, to take in the beauty of Yosemite Falls…among other spectacular sights.
I’ve been to the park a couple of times before, once in spring (a VERY long time ago) and once in summer. So I know just how magnificent the place is…and I was looking forward to seeing it in a whole new season this time around.
Alas, events across the continent have conspired to lay waste to our plans. The government shut-down has closed most national parks — including the one we were planning to visit this week.
Bummed? To say the least.
But I realize, too, that I have a choice this morning: I can whine and agonize over a lost opportunity. Or I can greet the day as a different kind of opportunity — a chance to explore places I HAVEN’T been before…and to consider the possibility that there is beauty to be found in unexpected locations, too.
For some reason, this whole experience has me thinking of St. Paul and the greeting he received in Athens. No doubt, as a missionary and evangelist, he would have considered that city a prize catch: The intellectual center of the Mediterranean universe. If Paul could make it THERE with his message of Christ crucified, he could make it ANYWHERE.
Of course, it didn’t turn out according to his plans. The Athenians listened, politely, and then gave him the brush-off: ‘We should like to hear about this, some other time…’
The thing is, Paul wasn’t discouraged by the set-back. He shook the dust of Athens from his feet, and continued on.
Not a bad strategy — whether you’re spreading the Good News, or merely trying to make the best of a vacation situation that’s beyond your control.
Somehow, I think the Holy Spirit is at work in this. So open my eyes, Spirit of God…open my heart…to appreciate what this day–and this week–beyond my plans…can still become!