We just came home from a family vacation in Whistler. We had a wonderful time and there were things we experienced that led to moments of inspiration.
The Ironman Triathlon is the world's most gruelling race consisting of a 2 1/2 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, then concluding with a 26 mile run -- the allotted time is 17 hours - the winner completed it in 8 hours and 16 minutes.
At first we came upon a few riders, then more and more.
I was impressed by the number of people who lined the roads to cheer on the bikers as they passed.
Finally, we were able to access our townhouse (although later it was impossible to get back out to main roads - they were closed to accommodate the bikers)
After the bike ride of 112 miles was complete the athletes began their 26 mile run, which took them right past our townhouse, so we watched from the patio......
front door .....
or 'ran with them' -- that is my husband in the black pants who started jogging beside one runner who suggested he change places and finish the race for him.
What impressed me more than the athletes themselves, was the people who cheered them on.
Even inside our townhouse we could hear the shouts of encouragement to the athletes as they passed. These encouragers all along the route sat/stood for hours spurring the runners on to the finish.
I thought about how we are called to that for each other in the 'race' of life running for the goal - to cross the finish line to win the 'crown of eternal life'. How encouraging it would be to have those around us committed to spurring us on, calling out words of praise and expressing confidence in our ability to finish... holding out 'bottles of water' to refresh us.
We also witnessed another interesting 'race' of different kind. The race of the tiny toads from lake to forest where they will grow up.
The tiny toads (smaller than a dime) having developed from tadpoles come out of the water and gather in piles along the lake shore. About 25,000 will complete the migration race.
A man-made barrier to protect them has been laid all along the lake shore to encourage the baby toads along a safe path from lake shore to the forest some distance away.
A few toads manage to escape and forge out on their own as this little guy did. I felt bad for him. He had a hard road a head of him - with little chance of surviving or reaching his destination.
How like us! God has put up barriers - not to restrict us , but rather to make our journey safe. Yet, like the little toad we wiggle our way through the barrier and try to make our own way - and find that in the end it is to our own hurt and loss.
On our way home from Whistler we stopped at Squamish (one hour from Whistler) to experience the new Sea to Sky gondola that takes you up to the top of The Chief mountain. It is a 10 minute ride.
At the top, is a cafe/shop/sitting areas and viewing platforms to take in the 360 degree views!
Connecting the two viewing platforms is a swinging bridge. (the two blonde girls on the bridge are my grandgirls)
While we were on top we experienced another 'first'. The first wedding on top of The Chief.
The 'aisle' for the bride was the swinging bridge and all traffic was halted so she crossed it alone to meet her groom waiting at the 'alter' with family and friends.
As one who avoids swinging bridges - I watched the bride crossing the swinging bridge, high above the ground -- and I thought about how often in life we have to take 'risks' - letting go ... starting over .... making life changing decisions or choices.
How much we value our 'goal' will determine how great a risk we are willing to take to get there.
God has created us emotional beings - we desire to love and be loved, to feel joy and fulfilment.
We are also created with a capacity and need to be WOWED -- to feel 'awe' because feeling 'awe' is meant to draw our thoughts to God.
How often vacations are planned around the desire to enjoy God's creation.
Here are a few photos I took that filled me with awe for the beauty God used to create His world to reflect the beauty of His character!
In spite of all we saw and experienced, the greatest gift God has given me is my family. To share time and togetherness is what I treasure most.
Thank you, Father !!
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."