I took a trip down the scenic highway in the gorge. I chose this because I always connect with God better when I get away from the city. To me quality time with God equals time away from a schedule and time literally reflecting in a body of water. By choosing to explore the waterfalls I was putting myself in an environment where my body naturally slows down. By leaving the city I was leaving time constraints. I wanted to do all I could to give myself room and permission to connect with God.
I stopped at Vista house and spent a great deal of time on the top of the house looking out over the gorge and the freeway. Finally I moved on because of the traffic flow of people coming and going from the observation deck. I was not paying attention to the time as for me that is part of relaxing and reflecting. I would say I was here for at least 45 minutes and possibly closer to one hour.
One thing that really hit me while up there was Psalm 23. As you look down from Vista House facing east you see two things. You see the I-84 and all the traffic flowing quickly along it, and then you see just south of the freeway a meandering creek with the peace and beauty that it brings. Do I choose to rush through life missing the things of beauty provided by God or do I slow down and take in the trees and flowers near the creek? It felt as though I were in heaven watching all the people on earth making the choices that would govern the speed of their lives. Most of us choose to speed through life oblivious of the creek just to our right. God is saying, “my burden is easy, my yoke is light,” if only we as humans will stop- or at least slow down- and enjoy the scenery.
I spent most of my time reflecting on the second and third verses of Psalm 23. I especially like them in the New Living Translation: He leads me to rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.
How often do I stop, or slow down to spend concentrated time with my Heavenly Father, just resting in Him. He says in the book of John: I am the vine you are the branches, apart from me you can do nothing. Yet I repeatedly continue to try to live my life apart from Him- or if not truly apart from Him, then at least not in Him. I try to tell Him what I want to do and expect Him to come alongside me. And the funny thing is- I have experienced how easy life is when I join Him where He is instead of trying to get Him to join me where I am. I exhaust myself trying to do it on my own and wonder why I am so very worn out. Really? Haven't you learned yet girl?
After leaving Vista House I continued on the scenic highway trying to find a waterfall area that was somewhat protected from the elements- it was cold even though the sun was trying to come out- yet not overrun with people. Multnomah Falls was too busy and Latourell Falls were too far off the road. I ended up spending the bulk of the rest of my time at Horsetail Falls. Though they are located right next to the road there were virtually no people there.
I sat near a set of trees that reminded me of two people talking. I tried to envision those two trees being me and God. The “face” on one tree was slightly higher than the “face” on the other. If the lower tree were me then I was looking up to God and focused on Him. I want to want to live my life this way. I have experienced the peace of being so connected to Him that I know in the moment that the very air I breathe comes from Him. Then I swing to the other extreme where I am sure I am doing it completely on my own. Can I find a middle ground? It seems as though my “want to” is broken. I say I desire things to be different, yet I do nothing to change my behavior. Until my behavior changes, or I am at least motivated to pursue ways to change than I can't say in all honesty that I really desire things to be different.