Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What Leaves Us Weak in the Knees

I was formulating a mental facebook update, as we headed up the half-mile trail to Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park where my two-year-old, who was so excited to be out of the backpack, was leading the way. I was so impressed by her I was thinking statuses like, "This one's not just a trooper, this girl's a leader," just to offer a snippet of something unique that even I was discovering about this beautiful child.

However, that was the last mental status I cared to formulate the rest of our two-and-a half week vacation.

We caught up to the two youngest running ahead and my husband led us to Mesa Arch, in which we discovered, without warning or barrier, had a 1,200 foot drop immediately through the arch. We peered down, caught our breath, and then quickly ushered the children away from the arch.

Boy, was I put in my place.

I felt squeamish throughout my body. I immediately had a new respect, not just for nature, but for life...every last bit of God's creation that I suddenly felt we, too easily, take for granted.

After a quick photo with the children in front of the arch, then ushering them back down the trail with grandma and grandpa, I snatched the camera from my husband and turned back.

I snapped a few more shots, yet I couldn't grasp the height, depth and width, that I so terribly wanted to capture, of the awesome landscape with my DSLR camera.

And as I stood there alone with strangers, I couldn't help but imagine a scene with my little ones innocently running and playing in the open area in front of the arch, not realizing what was so near.

And I wonder how often we play life out close to that cliff without a true reverence and respect for the natural consequences of an extraordinary creation put into motion by an extraordinary Creator. How often is "living on the edge" pure ignorance?

And how often is letting our children prematurely navigate the way hazardous? 

Because we should live life with enough fear to recognize how small we really are and vast our Creator is.

I stood there and thanked God for the precious children he has blessed us with, for their lives and for their safety. Gratitude seemed the best and only way to grasp all of the extraordinary. 

Then I took another breath and caught up with the crew, whose wonder cannot possibly be captured in a sentence or photograph, half way down the trail.

And that overwhelming feeling stuck with me through the rest of our vacation.

Because it's what we can't create with our own fingers that leaves us weak in the knees and humbled by the life we've been appointed.

To view more of our seventeen day trip to ten national parks, click here.

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Sharing with Imperfect Prose, Women Living Well, We Are That FamilyGetting Down With JesusLife in Bloom, and Beholding Glory


  1. I think we will, someday, look back and realize just how protected and sheltered we were, by an Almighty Hand. I love that, on your vacay, you really felt it.

  2. Just breath taking. And profound. I can't believe you fit ten National Parks in, that is wonderful. What and adventure!

  3. Oh, wow, Theresa. Your words leave me breathless. I know this place, of speechlessness, wonder and awe at glimpses of Him. I love your heart, your eyes to see Him. Now I need to head over to see what other parks you visited this summer! Over the last few years we have explored quite a few, but we have yet to conquer so many in such a short amount of time! Here is my post about our trip, last week, to Glacier: bit.ly/MsSjJx

  4. Wow! All of it, WOW! I feel the panic you must have felt with your babies so close to the edge. I love how you related it to our walk with God. Such beautiful insight. And this line, "Because it's what we can't create with our own fingers that leaves us weak in the knees and humbled by the life we've been appointed."


  5. Gratitude seems the only way...always! Such a wonderful well thought post - blesings!

  6. My legs feel like rubber bands just thinking about that. And this says it all: Because it's what we can't create with our own fingers that leaves us weak in the knees and humbled by the life we've been appointed. So true! Sounds like you had a wonderful time away.

  7. I have FELT that, exactly! I’ve felt it at the edge of the Grand Canyon, and biking down Haleakala. I’ve felt it at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It’s the bigness of God, crashing up like a tidal wave against the smallness of me. I've felt it with mask and snorkel once, swimming along the edge of an underwater cavern that plummeted the depths of ocean back-waters. I was in such awe that I had to return to the boat’s edge, for fear the discovery would suck me under.

    Great post. I so.get.this.

  8. I have been in those general areas in the past 20-ish years, sometimes taking international folks so they will get a real view of what it's like in our country beyond what they have ever been anticipating or understanding. When I went, I hadn't understood it, either. NOW, once in a while, I just have to flop my way.

    Your comparison with everyday reality and spiritual strength/growth is very well described and written. I sure understand it!

    Thanks for the writing and the photos.

  9. Because we should live life with enough fear to recognize how small we really are and vast our Creator is.

    this really floored me. i've been battling a lot of fear lately. thank you for giving me a new perspective on it: to see it as an opportunity to need my savior. what gorgeous photos theresa! i'm jealous of this adventure you're on!

  10. Magnificent photo. Sometimes I am just speechless at how God has blessed us with the beauty of His creation.

  11. Love the connection you made and beautiful pictures! Stopped over from Faith Filled Friday.

  12. Awesome photographs. My heart nearly stopped reading how close the children were to the edge. I felt that way at the Grand Canyon--and my daughter was a teenager! I guess to a mother our children are always children. So thankful for a Great Creator who forms such magnificent beauty yet watches over the smallest child.


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