WELCOME TO OUR GUEST AUTHOR, BARB WAITE – Elsie: Adventures of an Arizona School Teacher 1913-1916 and Elsie’s Mountain: Memories of Palomar & Southern California 1897-1987
My husband and I recently rode Amtrak’s California Zephyr from Denver to San Francisco. Many of the 200 people taking the ride never left their comfortable seats in the coach car. We, on the other hand, headed right away for the observation car. We wanted to take in every possible view. Looking up at the clouds through the overhead windows was breathtaking. I felt as if I should go shout to the people who remained satisfied with mere coach window views, “Come! There is so much more to see.”
The observation windows gave us an uninterrupted view of waterfalls, rivers, ski lifts, mountain passes, and quaint vintage train stations. The windows overhead allowed us to observe the snow gently falling as we passed the changing terrain from mountains to flatlands. The trip was 33 hours. Except when in our coach seats attempting to sleep, we stayed most of the time in the full-view observation car.
This experience reminded me of a visit we once made to Carlsbad Caverns. Cowboy James White discovered the caverns in 1898. He tried to persuade others to come and see the wonders he had discovered, but most laughed at him. We remember White as an early promoter of the fascinating sights below the earth, leading to the eventual declaration of Carlsbad Caverns as a National Park under President Herbert Hoover.
As we took in the beauty in the Rocky Mountains and then the Sierras from Amtrak’s observation car, I wanted to shout out, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good: …” Psalm 34:8. All creation is God’s masterpiece. Don’t be satisfied with a limited view. Come and observe it all.
Sometimes we tend to be content with a pastor telling us what he has discovered from his own close observation of God’s word. However, the teacher always gets the most from a lesson because those who teach are looking diligently, searching and digging out gems of wisdom in scripture. In a month we start back with women’s Bible study at church. I confess I have already started looking ahead and marking the passage for myself.
I don’t want someone else to tell me second-hand how wonderful the observation car was; I don’t want to be satisfied with sitting in the coach when the observation car is free and available. So dig in, look up and notice the significance all that God has given us. OBSERVE!