Grandmama’s Hiking Boots

2009-08-20 2086We just got back from a few glorious days in Crested Butte, Colorado.  We stayed in a solar cabin on Lake Irwin far from the maddening, saddening atmosphere of political decline and media over-stimulation that seems to prevail in every strand of the atmosphere we breathe — choking our minds — suffocating our thoughts.

The cabin is located several miles west of Crested Butte deep in an alpine forest.  Crested Butte, once a hard-working mining town, is now a liberal, eco-friendly, conservative-bashing town where stop signs are located at every intersection so the bicyclists can pass undeterred — and where car mileage dips at every stop sign.  We didn’t let this alter-culture deter us, however.  Crested Butte has some of the most beautiful scenery in our state to experience and we wanted to be right in the middle of it!

We shared our cabin with our daughter’s in-laws, who  brought up 3 ATVs.  Early the next morning following our arrival, we straddled our ATVs and embarked high up into the land beyond timberline to enjoy all that God has gifted to us in His creation.  In no time at all we were at the top of the world looking down upon the clouds.

2009-08-21 2338The irony of our delight is that the residents of Crested Butte hate ATVs.  They believe that people like us destroy the environment when in fact, it is irresponsible people who destroy the environment.  ATVs, horses, dogs, bicycles and the like can all be used responsibly.   They can also be used irresponsibly.  We use them responsibly – but that didn’t stop the glares from the hikers we left in our dust.

What many young, eco-liberals do not understand is that ATVs are a gift to those of us who are creeping up in age.  I like to call them Grandmama’s hiking boots.  The gift of an advanced society is that life does not have to be so difficult — it doesn’t have to be so painful.

I do understand, though.  We used to be just like them.  We used to hike our socks off and do so in record time.  Sadly, we aren’t that spry anymore!  ATVs allow us to get up into the clouds quicker and with less pain for our aging, arthritic joints.

Younger members of our society would be well-advised to consider this as they push for more and more legislation banning the use of vehicles or animals (like horses) which help us experience our great land.  One day, they will be like us.  When you are 25, you never think you will be 55 or 65  but it arrives sooner than you will ever imagine!

Sadly, many liberals have the notion that all conservatives act irresponsibly to the environment.  Not true!  We are conservatives and eco-minded!  We are strong advocates for treating our environment gently and with respect.  We recycle with the best of them.  We are careful how we drive our ATVs.  We clean up our trash and pack it out.   How I detest that we are all lumped into one big category.  How I loathe that as a conservative, I am called ugly names out of ignorance and arrogance.

2009-08-21 2276When this happens, I simply have to pick up the book that puts it all into perspective.   In this book, Jude reminds his listeners that people blaspheme and condemn others because they simply do not understand.  While Jude is speaking specifically about those in olden days who made wrong judgments and pronounced lies about early Christians, the concept remains the same.  People judge wrongly because they do not see truth accurately.  Jude 1:10 tells us:

But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.

The thing is, these people are destroyed by their ability to forsake honest reasoning.  Jude calls their minds “unreasoning minds.”  They use human, sinful instincts to try to understand what has been veiled from their eyes.  I don’t doubt that they sincerely believe their erroneous thinking but that does not change the fact that their understanding is flawed and fractured.

Until we understand life from God’s perspective, our understanding will always be in error.  That concept holds true for every aspect of human life.  The Creator gave us life — He defines life — He is life!

2009-08-21 2253For those of us injured by those who selfishly chart their own path, we would do well to remember 1 Peter 2:15-17.

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.  Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.  Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God.

It’s not important that we are hurt by their spiteful accusations.  It is, however, important to recognize that we are to live above their criticism.  We answer to a higher power.  We answer to God Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth. We would do well for ourselves to remember the Nicene Creed which was written long before arrogant and selfish individuals staked claim upon our society.

2009-08-20 2075I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

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