Lessons from vacation
Posted: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 8:01 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt
I’m writing this column in one of the most beautiful places on earth — Yosemite National Park in California. It’s 73 degrees and I’m gazing at waterfalls which can’t be described with words. They have to be experienced with the eyes, the ears, and all the senses. Oh, and as a side note, just because we’re on vacation doesn’t mean you should consider breaking into our house. By the time you’re reading this, we’ll already be home. And you don’t wanna mess with us at that point. We will have just gotten home from a long vacation and though we may be too tired to attack you or shoot you, the smell of our dirty clothes would take you out and convince you to reconsider a life of crime.
On this trip, we’ve been to Grand Canyon, Sequoia National Park and Yosemite. We loved them all. There’s just something about national parks. A few years ago we took our boys to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks in Wyoming and Montana. Last year we had the privilege of visiting Acadia National Park in Maine. I had never been to Maine and it was one of those lifelong dreams fulfilled. There are several reasons we love National Parks. No. 1. We hear every language on the face of the earth. My boys have learned to pick out the difference between French and Italian. We hear German, Japanese and many languages we’ve not learned to recognize. There’s just something very special about being at a place which attracts the entire world. No. 2. We realize anew how infinitely great God is and how tiny we are in comparison. If you think you wield a lot of power and influence in this world, just stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon. If you believe you tower over the competition, just stand under a great Sequoia. It’s humbling.
Some things about park vacations make me laugh. Our family hikes the trails and does all kinds of physical activities, but we never really dress the part. If you’ve been to a lot of natural areas or national parks, you know there’s a funny thing about park people. There are always those who are dressed to the nines with all the outdoor gear that has ever been sold out of a catalog and sent to an insurance agent in Georgia. They wear those expensive hiking pants that zip off to make hiking shorts. They wear $200 hiking boots and carry fancy walking sticks. Many of the guys wear those Australian-looking tan hats and carry fancy water bottles which look like they could be used to store nuclear waste. We just wear our regular clothes and some good tennis shoes. And yeah, we smoke them on the trails. OK. We don’t always smoke them, but we do finish the trails and isn’t that what it’s all about ... that and hearing someone yell at their kids in Italian.
Phil and I have never been prone to spend money on fancy furniture, cars or clothes. But we have never regretted a dollar we’ve spent traveling to some of America’s most beautiful places. We highly recommend it. So start saving now. Stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon. It makes you feel small, but incredibly secure. Someone far greater is in charge.
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website lisasmartt.com.
Published in The Messenger 7.20.11
Lisa Smartt, The Smartt View