AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
The Fourth of July was just last weekend but I continue to think of so many things I am grateful for in our country. Those men and women that founded our country had such wisdom and vision.
As time went on and settlers moved west and our economy grew, they could foresee all that this nation could be and recognized that civilization, commerce and consumerism could get out of control and encompass our beautiful land. Our Purple Mountains Majesty and Fruited Plains… from Sea to Shining Sea…. hence, our National Parks were founded.
Yellowstone was the nation’s first national park, established in 1872. Now there are 58 designated national parks located in 26 states and two US territories.
I have been fortunate to have visited 14 National Parks so far… each one unique and I find that it’s always a wonderful opportunity for me to re-connect with nature, celebrate God’s creation and see the unblemished beauty of this great country.
Likewise, sometimes I feel like my life can become over-crowded with “civilization.” And how important it is for me to designate a “national park” time in my day… a time to set aside, to re-connect with my creator and with my loved ones. If not, the days turn into weeks and weeks to months and years… and due to "the tyranny of the urgent*" I’ve missed so much of what is really important.
The National Park System didn’t just happen by accident… it was planned for in advance.
*For further reading on setting aside time, establishing priorities and taking a spiritual inventory pick up a copy of the classic “Tyranny of the Urgent” by Charles E. Hummel, first published in 1967, but still timeless today.