For the Beauty of the Earth

Martha and I recently returned from a long awaited trip to Yellowstone National Park.

I went to Yellowstone when I was 15 or 16 years old. All we did at that time was drive through the park. After this visit, I realized I didn’t see much of it.

Martha has never been to Yellowstone, but it has been one of her goals for all of her life.

We had a great trip.

As we toured the park, I remembered a book I read by Stephen Ambrose about Leuis and Clark. In the book he related the story of an early European traveler to Yellowstone. When he returned to Washington, D.C., he told what he saw. He described herds and herds of thousands of Buffalo. He told how Yellowstone was a place where steam was constantly coming out of the ground and water was shooting hundreds of feet into the sky. He told about magnificent waterfalls, great heated pools, and peaks covered with snow year round.

They didn’t believe a word he said.

Except for pictures and 4-5 million tourists a year, maybe no one would believe it. It is a beautiful and fantastic place.

But one of the most wonderful places we visited we didn’t even know about. We left Montana heading back into Wyoming and saw a promising looking highway that led from Red Lodge, Montana, to Cody, Wyoming. It’s the Beartooth Highway.

Martha described it as “scary awesome.” That meant she wanted me to “keep your eyes on the road” so that she could see the awesome scenery. It was an inspiring sight. We saw mountain goats at the pass crossing from Montana to Wyoming at 10,900+ feet. The switchbacks were truly scary, amazing, inspiring, and astounding.

The next day we went to church in Cody. One of the songs we sang was “To God be the Glory.” A hymn which describes the great things God has done. At that point Martha said to me “this song is even more significant after what we saw yesterday.”

My friend, Fisher Humphreys, is a well-known theologian. He teaches about heaven as a beautiful, wonderful, and marvelous place. When asked his reasoning for believing that way, he affirms the beauty of heaven because of the beauty of the earth.

If earth is this beautiful, how wonderful heaven must be.

You and I serve a wonderful God who has given us all things. His greatest gift was the gift of His Son who has now gone “to prepare a place” for us.

How wonderful that place will be.

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  1. Scot Martin
    Jul 19, 2017


  2. Frank Shaw
    Jul 19, 2017

    We just got back from Zambia and I had the same emotions and thoughts. Victoria Falls and The Chobe Game Park were amazing. I can’t help but think of Louis Armstrong, “I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”

  3. Bethellen
    Jul 19, 2017

    Did you go to the Cody Museum? It is awesome. It is an all day trip to go through it. If you missed it, that’s another trip.

  4. Marlaine Peachey
    Jul 19, 2017

    I loved reading that and felt as if I were seeing it too! So glad you had a relaxing trip. You deserve that so much! I know God was renewing you both.

  5. Sandra Crow
    Jul 19, 2017

    Glad you all liked Yellowstone.
    Ralph and I worked at the campgrounds there 6 summers in a row. It is a awesome place. We also attended the Baptist Church in cody. We enjoyed our time in that beautiful area that God created.

    • Waylon
      Jul 19, 2017

      It’s good to hear from you. Hope you are well.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word! — Proverbs 15:23 (NIV)