Psalms & Camping

Several years ago, I went on a camping trip with my family.  Breakfast was finished, the kids were happily playing, and I had an hour of leisure time to enjoy.  I carried my chair to the middle of a big meadow, felt the warm sunshine, listened to the birds sing.  I read the psalms daily, starting with one each day, eventually reading them all, then going backwards through them again.  So I brought my Bible out there with me, and opened it to read my “psalm of the day”.  It was Psalm 104: Praise of God the Creator.  Could it have been any more perfect suited?!

Bless the Lord, my soul!      Lord, my God, you are great indeed!  . . .

You made springs flow into channels, that wind among the mountains.  They give drink to every beast of the field; here wild asses quench their thirst.  Beside them the birds of heaven nest; among the branches they sing.  You water the mountains from your palace; by your labor the earth abounds  . . . .

  

The trees of the Lord drink their fill, the cedars of Lebanon, which you planted.  There the birds build their nests;  junipers are the home of the stork.  The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocky cliffs, a refuge for badgers . . .

How varied are your works, Lord!  In wisdom you have wrought them all; the earth is full of your creatures. . . .   When you send forth your breath, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth . . . .   I will sing praise to my God while I live. . . .

I read a line or two, looked at the scenery, read some more.  The sense of perfect peace and the blending of prayer and the surroundings have always stayed with me.   They rose up again in my heart during my recent camping trip.

As I looked at the expansive rangeland, the huge blue sky, the quaking aspens turning to gold, the mink slipping silently along the riverbanks, the 200-mile vistas, the soaring birds of prey, the stars glittering in the inky black sky, I was filled with awe for the power and beauty of our God.

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;  may the Lord be glad in these works . . . . Bless the Lord, my soul!  Hallelujah!

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About reinkat

I am an iconographer, and have been studying Russian/Greek icons since 1995. I'm married with 3 children. I love hiking, camping, animals, my family and church--and icons.
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4 Responses to Psalms & Camping

  1. For me, the most wonderful times to read Morning Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours is on camping/cottaging vacations with my family……..waking up early in the morning and praying in peaceful, beautiful surroundings. Thank you for a lovely post that reminded me of summer.

    • reinkat says:

      Yes, those times, wherever and whenever they may be, when stresses fade away–taking distractions with them–seem to be the best time for heartfelt prayer and communion with God.

  2. SR says:

    This made me cry, it was that beautiful. “I let it stand, Girl!” How much I needed it today! God Bless, SR

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