Mike is a good guide and a fine companion for an adventure. He had been on North Manitou Island before and knew his way around. He once canoed from South Manitou to North Manitou Island in choppy waters. This was a distance of seven miles through a graveyard of ships and he lived to tell about it. He told us that story after hiking miles in the sun around the west side of the Island one morning. It was getting warm in the sun. We climbed up to the top of the bluff to discover a breeze as refreshing as the view. Kyle, Chuck and I stood looking out over the Manitou passage and persuaded Mike to tell his heroic tale again. He was eager to oblige. He is so outgoing he makes me look like an introvert. We stood looking out toward South Manitou and savored the cool breeze and the stunning view. It was about that time I gave Mike a trail name that he kept with him when he section-hiked the Appalachian Trail. He still calls himself Manitou Mike.
Before leaving the next day we were all sitting on the dock waiting for the ferry back when Mike struck up a conversation with one of the other hikers. Mike never met a stranger and on our adventure he witnessed to everything that moved and I’m pretty sure he witnessed to a few inanimate objects. Commenting on the beauty of the day Mike subtly turned the casual conversation toward the Lord in a simple, natural and inoffensive way that made me smile. Instead of referring to the sky and water and island as “nature” he used the term “creation”. Listening I realized that Mike had, in a very natural way, given glory to the Creator and planted a seen thought in the mind of our fellow hiker.
He was right, it’s not just nature, it is creation and what a creation it is. What a creator we have. Have you noticed that lately? Did you ever notice you are commanded to observe creation? We are told to consider the lilies and observe the birds and the seasons.
Devout people will spend all their lives discovering new examples of God’s creativity. God’s creativity is evident from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the anthill in the back yard. God’s creativity is evident from the fertile plains of Kansas to the sweet orchards of Michigan. God’s creativity is on display in the Great Lakes and in the quiet brook gurgling unnoticed in the wilderness. God’s creativity leaves us breathless with wonder from the Grandfather oak to the tiniest wildflower bent with the dew of morning. God’s creativity is demonstrated in the Condor and the Hummingbird. From the tumbling atom to the farthest corner of the vast universe God’s creativity is displayed. The creativity of God is in the cry of the loon out of the mist of the morning on a northern lake and it is in the sound of the frogs in the evening.
We could spend a life-time observing the evidence of God’s creativity and we would not have begun. That is true in everything God made. God is very creative. He created creativity. Everything was created by him and for him…. His creativity is in nature but it is also in human nature. The God who created flowers, animals, birds, trees, mountains, oceans, moons and galaxies created you.
It’s spring. Get out for a walk and think about that for a while.
Riverfront Character Inn
April 26, 2004