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Managing My Loves

I fell in love with Dory last night. Yes, Kristin knows about it. In fact, she set me up, although she didn’t know it at the time.

You see, I recently read a fascinating book about the Grand Canyon called The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko, describing river trips down that unparalleled stretch of water. While most guide services take guests on giant inflatable rafts, the book features an outfitter that exclusively uses dories, essentially large wooden rowboats. This sparked my infatuation.

In anticipation of a trip we soon hope to take, Kristin bought a coffee table book about the Grand Canyon entitled, The Hidden Canyon: A River Journey, by John Blaustein. What she didn’t know is that the author was one of the first guides with Grand Canyon Dories and has spent over 40 years rowing these gorgeous boats and photographing the canyon. Another unexpected meeting with Dory? This can’t be coincidence. Last night, after reading/looking at just the first little bit of the book, I was ready to sign up for a trip. I was captivated!

Now, I have no intention of leaving the pastorate to see if I could get on with Grand Canyon Dories, intriguing as that would be. But it does set me to pondering the challenge of managing my heart. As I read the stories of these men who have spent decades running the Colorado River, I was impacted by the profound love they had developed for the beauty of that place. They are not just thrill seekers. They are in love with the multifaceted majesty of this slice of the planet. I found an answering call in my own heart to experience the same thing, not just once, but again and again for years, to know the canyons many moods and marvel at its immensity, returning praise to the Maker for every glimpse of awe.

But that won’t happen; and it’s not a tragedy. I have come to realize over the years that God has given us hearts with the capacity for innumerable pursuits that would each take an entire lifetime. To pursue any of them automatically means not pursuing any of the others. In high school, I thought I might become a civil engineer, and I think I could have enjoyed that. In college, I wanted to be a missionary pilot, and I still maintain I would have loved it. Yesterday, I worked all day on our timber farm, and I loved it. I wish I could go out again today. But with a 50-year harvest cycle, I need a whole string of lifetimes to really get good at timber farming.

So many loves and just one lifetime to enjoy them. This could be a recipe for despair. However, I have great hope because I daily surrender all my loves to the one Love who made them all. He is supremely worthy, and will take good care of all my dreams.

Pastor Toby

Categories: Evergreen Connection