Mount St. Helens
I decided last minute to take a detour on my journey back to Seattle and visit Mount St. Helens. I didn't realize when I was planning the trip that it would be so close! After praying and doing some research I decided, "Why not?" So I set off early from Camas and an hour later I had ventured off onto the roads to lead me there.
Unfortunately, a sign on the way said the observatory I wanted to see 45 minutes away was closed. I missed that on the website. So I turned into the original observatory and saw it...the picture above doesn't do it justice really. I was in awe. I said to myself, "Just because the observatory center is closed doesn't mean you can't go up there and look!" Inspired, I continued driving. I drove about twenty more minutes down the two lane, no shoulder road. The only other souls I saw where logging truckers. Then the roads got a bit icy, then I noticed signs saying I was passing the last place for auto help, and then I lost my cell phone signal. I pulled over to pray about whether I should continue at a little place by the river.
Then something happened that my family describes as meeting Jacques. As a child visiting Six Flags, there was a ride where the guide 'warned' us about the adventure ahead. They had an animated guy off to the side and the guide would say, "There's Jacques, shaking his head no!" And sure enough the animated robot, Jacque would be shaking his head not to go further. HA - of course in the kiddy ride at Six Flags you always continued but in my heart it was almost like I had met Jacque again and he was shaking his head - no.
At that point, I decided to turn around. The interesting thing was that my inner voice began accusing me for the next 10 miles! "It would have probably been fine. I can't believe you are missing Mount St. Helens." and "Don't be a chicken." I had to pray alot for God to secure in my heart the difference between being a scaredy cat and wisdom. Honestly, it was the wisest thing for me to turn around! I was traveling solo, on slick roads, with few people around to help me and no cell phone signal. But I think it's interesting that my mind was so willing to belittle wisdom. I came to a section of the road while going back toward the highway (a different way than I came) that read, "Warning Motor Vehicles - Slide Zone Ahead"
"Oh gee, great! How are you ever going to do this?" I thought as I held the steering wheel tightly and went over a snowy road that dropped off on both sides. Right after I passed over the warning area to safe road, I realized that the volcano I really needed to conquer was my inner thought attack! We can be TOO hard on ourselves. How is your thought life? Are you kind to yourself or harsh? Often we have placed expectations on ourselves and if we don't happen to meet them instead of encouraging ourselves about our willingness to try we end up erupting in thought, pouring lava, ash and negativity all over, destroying beautiful things...like our spirit and peace.
I read a great quote that reminds me to be daring...and yet that it's okay to turn around and go the other direction. I hope it encourages you as well.
"Take a daring leap. Begin to pave your own trail. Listen to the whispers within your heart. Take micro-actions. Commit to change. Take responsibility for how you live your life. Embrace joy & release sorrow. Accept that within this moment, you can rewrite you story by taking one step in a different direction, followed by another step...one action at a time." Carolyn Rubenstein
For another short post with scriptures on this topic click here: "Your Thought Life"
|The original observatory|
|To protect cars from falling rocks! :/|
|Right before I turned the corner and saw the 'Slide Zone'|