Day of Delight
My wife and I along with another couple hiked through patches of golden yellow aspens in Rocky Mountain National Park. On the forest floor, brilliant fall red ferns mixed among the trunks of tall pines. A gently breeze frequently blew through the pines, and their unforgettable fresh scent filled the air. Only on occasion did a few white puffy clouds challenge the solid blue sky on this day of delight.
We often heard the soothing sound of water cascading through the woods as we walked the trail along the St Vrain and Ouzel Creeks. The perfect hiking conditions allowed us to dress for summer weather without getting cold nor hot.
By midday we reached our goal, Ouzel Falls. We sat down and ate lunch while listening to that tranquil roar that only a waterfall can make. We took delight in the picturesque spot, which made for a beautiful place to relax and examine the handiwork of God around us. It reminded me of Psalm 14:1, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’”.
We climbed up the backside of the falls after lunch and looked around at the surrounding mountains before we headed back. About a mile down the trail an animal suddenly dashed across our path. It had something large and bright red in its mouth.
The bounding animal took me off guard. I did not instantly comprehend what took place. I quickly gathered my senses and recognized that a golden-mantled ground squirrel bounced by while carrying a large, red mushroom. I don’t think I have ever seen a happier squirrel as it scooted off the trail into the woods with boundless elation.
These squirrels fill the mountains of Colorado and are native to the state. Because the big red trophy mushroom carried by it is a favorite food of many it bears the name “chicken of the woods”. As I watched I thought of Psalm 104:27-28,
“They all wait for You to give them their food in due season. You give to them, they gather it up; You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good.”
God provided nourishment for this squirrel by the way of a mushroom. At the same time He provided my hiking companions and me the pleasure of seeing His hand at work and an opportunity to see the above Psalm 104:27-28 come alive.
Later, I read Psalm 111:2 which says, “Great are the works of the LORD; They are studied by all who delight in them.”
Those of us on the trail that day delighted in seeing that squirrel. I have discovered when we study His creation we often find delight.