Those Joneses. They have everything. The high-def televisions, souped-up rides, and extravagant vacations to breathtaking sites. Those with less affluence (yours truly included) are faced with a choice: strive to keep up with them Joneses, or find joy in our “low-def,” humdrum surroundings.
In the past I may have wavered between the two—tech toys are my weakness—but lately my bank account has kindly made the choice for me. And I’m thankful. Sometimes missing out leads us to seek creative ways to make our own fun.
This week a number of RTB scholars and staff are sailing through Alaska’s Inside Passage on our Creation Celebration conference cruise. And, on a personal note, a couple dozen or so of my aunts, uncles, and cousins are headed to somewhat closer waters—the Colorado River. While a cruise to Alaska would be a first for me, I’m most disappointed to miss out on the annual trip with extended family.
Summers of water skiing (for me that meant having large volumes of water shoved in my face at a high speed) and flopping around on the infamous “Banana” are some of my most cherished memories. We would frivol away the day lounging at the rivers’ shore until the sun set behind the desert mountains. Each night, the sky would light up with countless stars—it still takes this city girl’s breath away.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Cortez
Whether the backdrop is the Nevada desert or Alaska’s glacial peaks, who can imagine a better way to celebrate God’s creation than to be wholly encompassed by some of His most magnificent work? To miss out on both hurts.
Yet His creation is all around us—we don’t have to go anywhere special to observe it.
The “left-behind crew,” as we’ve taken to calling ourselves, put this into practice Wednesday during our lunch break. In proper resort wear, we ambled over to main ballroom of the ms Left Behind, which looked conspicuously similar to our conference room, for five-star cuisine and gourmet dessert (à la brown bag lunch and make-your-own-sundaes). We enjoyed both amid a sea of smiling faces.
Earlier in the week I took a rare lunch to have a picnic with my still-on-summer-vacation husband and kids. There, underneath the Big Tree (of the cleverly named Big Tree Park), we took in God’s creation—bees, June bugs, and all. On the way back to my work, we noticed a large hawk soaring over us. It served as a quiet reminder that it’s through His wisdom that the hawk takes flight and spreads his wings toward the south.
Perhaps a little afternoon getaway is within reach for everyone. With many families cutting back and opting for “staycations” this year, that seems like the most viable idea. It’s in these simple yet extraordinary moments where we find some of our greatest treasures.
Though we may not be drifting across the big blue, we can find beauty in the ordinary miracles right in front of us and praise the One who brought them forth. As the Navy hymn reminds us, “Thus evermore shall rise to Thee, glad hymns of praise from land and sea.”
Sure the remaining staff here at RTB are instead cruising through cubicle-lined halls, but more importantly we are working to help others see and appreciate God’s handiwork.