Lights Off in New Mexico
We arrived to a site in New Mexico far after dark—and it was freezing—so, that didn't help much. Neither of us were familiar with this campsite—I knew we were in Lincoln National Forrest but aside from that, nothing. Were we near a cliffside? Far away from civilization? How many bears were nearby and most importantly, could they smell my breakfast peanut butter?
Ian and I were about one week into our camping trip. We started in Ohio and hit the road—next to no agenda in mind, but we had a few stops in mind and one final destination: Los Angeles, California.
Now if you know either of us, we are go with the flow sort of people. I, much more of a planner, have a few more requests on trips (like can we stop at this cute café to eat? and this looks like a great photo-shoot spot, right honey?!). Ian is more of the practical planner. He's the one who brings the back up to the backup flashlight, thinks of things like buying a generator, and a tent-friendly air matress (seriously, a life saver). But even with our versions of planning and going-with-the-flow, we didn't feel super comfortable in this vast, dark campsite in the middle of New Mexico.
We turned all of our flashlights and lanterns on and began converting the back of the SUV into our bed for the night (way too cold for the tent, regardless of how comfy that air mattress was). This process took about 30minutes; it's a careful business of shuffling all of our belongings from this month-long road trip into the tent, moving electronics to the passenger seat, reaching for the snack bin in between motions, you get the idea.
We were cold, tired, still a little anxious about the surroundings and very much ready for bed. We closed the car doors and nervously turned off the lights.
Except, when doing so, we could actually see better.
The light from the moon was so brilliant it created moon-shadows (one of my most favorite things) all around the site.
At the risk of sounding utterly cheesy, I thought it was profound. When we turned off our lights, we actually could see much better—the campsite didn't look that scary at all. It actually was next to a mountain base and huge pine trees shot up around us. The road wasn't too far away, either; but most importantly, there were stars.
Sometimes we need to get out of our own way. I don't know about you, but I love to pretend to know what's up. I try to create a plan for each and every possible scenario (I mean, we do have to stop at that cute café, right?!). I shine my little dumb flashlight into the big scary abyss and think I'll be able to tackle whatever is in there.
When a reminder I need more of, is that by turning off the effort sometimes, brings about the exact truth I need.
When we rest back in God's provision—trusting that He is with us in the wildest of circumstances—we discover that He has the best way to navigate through it all.
Whether you are a camper, glamper, or stay as far away from the woods as possible, I hope you can look for the ways God reveals himself as Provider this week.
If you're exhausted from holding up that flashlight, try turning it off for a minute and just let your eyes settle into whatever God has right in front of you.