It started a week or so ago when I watched the director’s commentary on Cars. As anyone who knows me can attest, I love watching the documentaries on how films are made. It gives me a greater appreciation for the effort that goes into a film as well as good insight into what makes a film what it is. John Lasseter, Pixar’s well-accomplished head and visionary, directed this film after taking a road trip with his family. He determined after that trip that the film would be about slowing down and enjoying the journey. I determined after watching the film that I would take my trip to Georgia through the somewhat slower Nantahala-Ocoee River route that cut its way into the Great Smoky Mountains.
As I began the trip, I took the time to talk to my Heavenly Father. If there is one bonus about traveling alone for a long time, it is that I can get away from everyone and everything else and simply talk to my God with no concerns of when I should end. And even though I was not at the Lord’s Supper at church, my mind and heart were brought back to the death He died for me and the many blessings that had taken place in my life as a result.
Then came the music. I was so stressed about whether to get an iPod 3 years ago. What a good decision it was! The music was all over the place in the shuffle mode – pure rock and roll with the Elms, the various styles of Jars of Clay, acoustic tells from Andrew Peterson, and some instrumentals from Michael Giacchino to name a few. I even bought the soundtrack to Cars for the experience.
Then came the turn in the trip. When I travel to Georgia, I always take I-40. After Asheville, there’s a decision to make – go straight to Knoxville on the fast highway or take the scenic, curvy route south. South I went and I started letting my mind take it all in. One thing that hit me right away was there were a lot of storage businesses. Apparently, there is a big demand for those in the mountains. I saw the stringed out houses in the remote locations and wondered how the people made do without all the things the city offers. As I passed the rushing Nantahala River, I was taken back by the fog and mist that swirled above and would surely obscure any rafter’s view, though there were none. And then there were those mountains. They were not the biggest I have ever seen by far, but they rose up over the landscape. When did God put them there? How long did they lie undisturbed by any human footsteps? And whenever I did come to an open plain, no artist could capture the sight. A wide expanse of green earth rolled around me, with a canopy of clouds pierced by a golden sun’s fading rays. Of course, such a sight could only bring me back to the Creator God. And I couldn’t help but think of how His glory is clearly seen at every level. Were I to attempt to draw the Milky Way Galaxy on paper, our little solar system would come up as a miniscule little dot at best. And yet, here I was in this small strip of land that is dwarfed by that same solar system, and the beauty of the handiwork of God was indeed way more than a speck on the canvas of the universe. His artistry is breathtaking even down to the smallest cell. The psalmist is so right – the heavens declare the glory of God and the earth shows His handiwork.
I finished another journey in my life, but this one was one of the best I have ever had.