Monday, June 08, 2009

Fort Bragg Musings

Took a trip to Fort Bragg this weekend, with my girlfriend Alene.  We left Friday night, unsure about the weather since it looked kinda thunder-stormy, but wow.... did we get lucky. 

This is a picture of the Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg.  I got tickets to the garden as part of our trip because I know Alene enjoys gardening and plant stuff.  I was happy to go along and enjoy the scenery, mainly because I knew she'd be happy with the place.  Typical guy thinking, right?

The Garden was absolutely lovely.  I was stunned at the amazing spectrum of colors and fragrances we came across as we walked around.  The garden is arrayed along 4-acres of coast land where the climate is apparently very healthy for rhododendrons and other semi-exotic plants.  Several species that normally thrive in the hills of Tibet or China thrive here as well.  We spent a good 2-1/2 hours wandering the paths through the flowers, and along the cliffs at the ocean.  If you really like "botany", you will enjoy this garden. 

As we sat on a bench along the coast, enjoying the view and the breeze, we couldn't help but marvel at the beauty of the area, and remember that God did indeed create it all.  I felt very blessed to be able to enjoy the peace and quiet for a few minutes, and steal away a few precious moments alone with Alene (well, and the dogs too!).  

But that also reminds me that, although God created all this fantastic beauty and wonderful scenery for us to enjoy, he also placed US here to work and be useful in this beautiful world.  

Yes, I truly believe the world is a beautiful place.  After all, when God was done creating it, He looked over his creation and declared it to be good (Genesis 1:25).  That includes all the lions, tigers, spiders, snakes, scorpions, mountains, oceans, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes!! God made this world and called it good!

But, as we, His children, enjoy His creation, and even sometimes tremble at the power of His creation (and yes, mourn when His creation produces calamity and distress on us humans), we have to remember why we're here, and why God created this world for us.  And that's to serve Him, and each other.  

Alene and I were talking about relationships on our drive home, and we came to the conclusion that the best relationships are those where we care more about how we can be of service and help and joy to others, than how others can service and help us. When that attitude of service and love is reciprocal, then relationships blossom and friendships grow! 

Jesus said, the world will know we are His disciples by our love for one another.  Let's love like we mean it, and show the world the Jesus changes lives. 

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