“The Heavens Above Proclaim His Handiwork…”

glacier-2006-010.jpgThe Sunday school my wife and I are a part of is currently reading together through Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper.

Here is a fascinating excerpt from our assigned reading for this week:

“The really wonderful moments of joy in this world are not the moments of self-satisfaction, but self-forgetfulness. Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and contemplating your own greatness is pathological. At such moments we are made for a mgnificent joy that comes from outside ourselves. And each of these rare and precious moments in life—beside the Canyon, before the Alps, under the stars—is an echo of a far greater excellence, namely, the glory of God. That is why the Bible says, ‘The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork’ (Psalm 19:1)” (DWYL, 33-34).

By the way, if you have some vacation coming this summer and are looking for some places to stand in awe and contemplate something bigger than yourself as an echo of the far greater excellence of God, I have included below my list of the 20 most beautiful places I have ever been. Enjoy!:

#1: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin. Obviously.
#2: Whistler/Pacific Coast Range, British Columbia, Canada.
#3: Banff/Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.
#4: Glacier National Park, Montana. Particularly near Lake Elizabeth and Red Gap Pass.
#5: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Particularly on the Bright Angel Trail on the South Rim.
#6: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Particularly near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Lake Yellowstone.
#7: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Particularly near Paintbrush Divide.
#8: Mykonos and Santorini Islands, Greece.
#9: Big Horn National Forest, Wyoming. Particularly near Hwy. 14, east of Shell, WY.
#10: Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria.
#11: Costa Rica. Particularly along the Rio Pacuare.
#12: Rocky Mountain National Park. Particularly near Bear Lake.
#13: Pfeifferhorn Peak, Wasatch Range near Salt Lake City, Utah.
#14: Wind River Range, near Lander, Wyoming.
#15: Lone Peak, Big Sky, Montana.
#16: Acropolis, Athens, Greece.
#17: Tettegouche State Park, near Silver Bay, Minnesota. Particularly at Shovel Point.
#18: Devil’s Lake State Park, near Baraboo, Wisconsin.
#19: Peninsula State Park, near Fish Creek, Wisconsin.
#20: Central Park, New York City.

Did I miss anything? Anyone want to add to the list? Where have you been that I need to go?!


11 thoughts on ““The Heavens Above Proclaim His Handiwork…””

  1. Nice to see the Big Horns getting some recognition. When I lived in WY I was 20 miles to the west of them, so have spent lots of time in those big hills. I think Yellowstone Canyon is my favorite part of that park as well.

    Not on the list – Monument Valley in UT/AZ. Definitely worth it to get up early and watch the sun come up over the rock formations.

    Beartooth Pass in MT has some incredible scenery.

    Big Horn Canyon in northern WY/southern MT is little known, and has some spectacular views. You might also get a glimpse of some wild mustangs.

  2. There is no more beautiful place in the world than the view from Mt. Arbel in Israel. It is a small mountain on the western side of the Sea of Galillee. On a clear day, you can see the entire Sea. From one place, you can see 90% of the area where Jesus lived during His time here on earth.

  3. I have. I thought it was one of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen. It will also go down as one of the most wearisome hikes I’ve ever done; 21 miles in one day.

  4. I grew up in Alaska, and pretty much any view from any mountain (or valley) will take your breath away. My favorite, though, was watching the setting sun over Denali (Mt. McKinley), which is like watching God wrap that majestic mountain in a pastel baby blanket and whisper, “Goodnight. Sweet dreams.” I was struck with an overwhelming feeling of safety.

  5. B, you gotta visit Prince Edward Island. The whole thing is bright red sand, purple flowers, lighthouses, rock cliffs, and the ocean.

  6. Wow. That sounds very cool, Kyle.

    There’s nothing particularly exotic about it, I guess, but every summer I really look forward to cruising up Tug Channel on Lake of the Woods. It’s a few miles long and separates one large portion of the lake from another, so we traverse it from the family cabin to get to a fishing spot. It’s just … peaceful. It’s my favorite trip on the lake.

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