As the masses converged upon San Diego for the Labor Day weekend, Julie and I took the opportunity to make an exit. We were pretty excited to make our way to Arizona to spend the weekend with friends at the Colorado River. A backpack full of swimsuits and towels, a few beers, and a full tank of gas were all we needed to start our journey east.

I was actually looking forward to the four hour drive through darkness to reach our destination. Driving is a relaxing activity for me provided traffic is moving along at a good clip and there is a road map on the dash. To tell the truth, there is something about the freedom of the open road that excites us all.

Summiting the pass at Mount Laguna the ominous Mohave Desert lay spread out before us, ready to suck up our truck into the blackness. Overhead the night sky displayed it brilliant stars, and in front of us, about 60 miles or so, there was a thunder and lightning storm which lit up the sky with a show to rival any man made firework composure. It was one of those scenes that struck awe into your soul. Something so violent, fear-ridden, powerful but yet so very beautiful.

We never reached the storm on our drive, but it was always looming in the distance- there for us to watch the entire drive. God was literally just showing us his beauty.

At the shores of the Colorado river, we forgot about our worries. We played in its life-giving water. We swam through its current. And a few times I just sat there and thought about how much I appreciated God giving me this gift of life, and the ability to enjoy his creation.

The first day was coming to an end, and we were making dinner. The talking and laughter came to a halt as we looked outside the window to see yet another show of brilliance. The sunset lit up the sky with an array of color. Both the sky above and water below became God’s personal living canvases of art. His power is calling us home.

Time and time again, God showed us his face to us through our surroundings. Scenes of calm lake waters surrounded by rugged canyons. Expanses of desert and a sea of cactus and sand. There was no end to His beauty.

The thing I love about God’s creation is that it’s beauty is a universal language. Every language and culture knows its power. That feeling that makes your heart stop when you behold something awesome is put there by God.

David speaks of this in Psalm 19:1-4:
The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their utterances to the end of the world
In them He has placed a tent for the sun…

Pretty cool huh?

Even if you are not headed on a weekend getaway or taking a day off to relax, I encourage all of you to take a couple of minutes this week to observe the work of our Creator. Soak it in and just sit in awe. When you have taken a moment to reflect on Him, think about the color he placed into our surroundings, and think about how much more color he wants to paint into our personal lives. Let him paint your soul.