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The seasons change fast in this land, sometimes in the blink of an eye. One day, leaves shudder on the trees, the next, they blanket the ground, and the next, they're blowing away in the wind. Or snow buries them deep.
Wyoming can be a glorious but intimidating place to rest your head. While beautiful, it remains remote and untamed. The mountains conquer by simply gasping with a storm, and beasts dare any to tread where they call home.
How is a person to survive in such a place? Is it worth the risk? I can say, after years of living in this wondrous land, yes.
That's not to say I haven't spent many a day staring out at a snowstorm, wondering if it would ever end or enjoyed a clear blue Sunday morning only for it to be destroyed by a sudden surge of ominous clouds from the horizon. Such things as hunting in November can be a challenge...a life-altering one.
How has God used Wyoming to teach me lessons me over the years?
1. Everything He has created on this planet has a purpose. Genesis 1
Wyoming illustrates how everything...most everything you find...works together for God's good purpose. Can man mess this up? Of course, but take a walk on the high plains and discover the true wonder of the stars. Feel the wind blow through your hair on a mountain peak and hear an elk bugle five miles away. Watch a cowboy round up a steer for branding, his body one with his horse. Eat lunch at a small town diner, and join in with raucous laughter as the owner teases her customers just to make their day. Everything in Wyoming has a purpose.
2. Life is hard but the reward is worth it. 2 Timothy 2:10
This land does not suffer a fool. That is a harsh statement I know, but it's the truth. To live in Wyoming means to endure all things, economical, emotional, physical, ecological, and spiritual battles. It is a land of opportunity for some, missed for others. But with the strength and direction of the Lord, the spring of life wells up in the soul and makes this place a paradise. Life is hard, but it's worth it.
3. An ounce of common sense is worth more than gold. Proverbs 15:21
An unprepared person in Wyoming is asking for trouble. Is it possible to plan for every contingency? No, but common sense is a valuable commodity. Gored tourists and dead hunters aren't figments of the imagination, they're preventable tales told from the annals of Wyoming history and present-day happenings. God can deliver us from Wyoming but in Wyoming, His creation is a simple place, and not very forgiving. Here, common sense is worth more than money and can buy a life.
4. Never take anything for granted. John 3:16
Wyoming's mountains can be majestic, its prairies vast and wide. Eagles soar and buffalo roam while trout jump high to catch a fly. But even then, it's easy to consider home drab...normal. We rise each day and sink our heads to the same pillow each night, and consider it something less than God's good and perfect creation.
The Lord taught me that this precious land, even if man dots its hills and valleys, is never to be shelved with old books or fishing poles. No, I'm to enjoy each sunrise and sunset, rainstorm and blizzard. Why?