Posts Tagged ‘Casper’

January 19, 2016
Another day at the office

Another day at the office

I find it utterly amazing that I get to do what I do.

I’m in Casper for a meeting of our clergy.  We have these meetings, or Institutes, twice a year. The one we have in January is just for the clergy, and while I am definitely not clergy, I always attend.  It’s a working trip, as I schedule meetings and hold workshops.

After the meetings we go to Mass.  Our Bishop is the celebrant, and we have 40 priests concelebrating. We also have 25 deacons in attendance as well, making this an extraordinary event.

Our priests and deacons are wonderful men.  So very dedicated and filled with the Spirit.  I have great love and respect for every one of them.

All this getting-together is for a couple reasons:  The exchange of information, education, and sharing the sacraments.  But the real reason is …

Jesus.

Plain and simple, without Jesus there is no Church, no priests, no Institute.  The Church is the Church of Jesus Christ, who is still its head.

Yup, it’s great.  And amazing.

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Just another sunset

January 14, 2016
Just another sunset

Just another sunset

I drove to Casper from Cheyenne yesterday for meetings that took place today.  It’s 18o miles, door to door, and it takes 2 hours and 15 minutes if I don’t stop.

In the 31 years we’ve lived in Cheyenne, I must have made this trip 1,000 times.  I know every inch of the road, where to go to the bathroom, where to get some coffee, where to get gas, where the wind is going to be the worst, and where the eagle perches next to the Platte River.

It’s the kind of drive that can get so mundane, so routine, that you can miss what’s around you.  Like sunsets.

I’m usually on a pretty tight schedule when I make this trip, so I don’t take a lot of time to really look around.  But last night and tonight, I had some leeway with the time of arrival, meaning I could get off the road and see things from a perspective that was not from inside a car going 80 miles an hour.

I was watching the clouds form around the edges of the mountains, knowing something special was taking place.  I was now officially on the lookout for a place to pull off the road and capture the sunset over the Laramie Range.

The “perfect” spot was the exit to Glendo, which I took with vigor as it crept upon me before I was really ready.  I had to be heavy on the brakes, or else I would have missed the road and ended up who-knows-where.  At the bottom of a ramp is a stop sign, and a left turn takes you to to Howards gas station, the usual stop, while a right puts you on a dirt road towards the (very, very) small town of Esterbrook. That’s where I went.

I was in search of the perfect sunset.  It always seems like I’m in search of the perfect sunset, which, by definition means I haven’t found it.  If it was perfect, I could stop looking because it would never be better.  The problem is that I haven’t defined perfect, which makes the search for it tough.

Perfect is so subjective.  The skies in Wyoming are phenomenal, and if there is ever to be a perfect sunset, it will be here.

The more I think about it, every sunset is perfect. It’s the perfect sunset for that moment, and it is just the way it is supposed to be.  I can revel in the glory of this small piece of creation, and that glory is only added to by the trip it takes to get there.  It’s the difference between going from one place to another, and seeing what’s on the way.

So here’s the perfect sunset.  If I get a chance tomorrow, I’ll take another shot of a perfect sunset.

My trip home tonight, aided by my search for the perfect sunset, took over 3 hours.  I believe I will start accounting for a longer drive to Casper.

January 13, 2016
Cosmic accident?

Cosmic accident?

I was in the middle of a discussion last night with some of the most literate, well-educated men I have ever met.  We were discussing a book titled The Privileged Planet, a fascinating tale of how an incredible number of things had to come together to provide for all the things required to support carbon based life, aka human beings.

The point of the book, and the man leading this discussion, was that this didn’t all just happen by accident.  Our world, our universe, isn’t simply a random happening. Rather, beginning with the Big Bang and carrying on for the next 13 billion years, the universe continues to expand, and the improbable story of human existence came into being and flourished.

For some reason that I cannot figure out, brilliant men are unable to even acknowledge the possibility that God could have a hand in this, much less that he exists at all.  One of the group called it a “myth,” and then proceeded to tell us that there was just no way that with all that space out there, there simply must be other planets that support carbon life forms similar to humans.

Yet there is no evidence for it.  None.  We can say we just haven’t found it yet, which would be accurate, but it’s also accurate that there is not even a hint at it.  So these bright guys are willing to place their faith in something that has no evidence at all, based upon their conclusion that, due to the sheer size of the universe, there simply must be other planets with life as we know it.

Think about this for a few minutes – there is lot’s of evidence of the existence of God, and there a billions of people who believe in His existence.  There is no evidence whatsoever of life forms on other planets, even after many years and billions of dollars spent looking for it. Given an opportunity to believe in an evidence-based God and no-evidence of extra terrestrial life, they choose the aliens.

Every time I look in the sky and see the wonder and the beauty of creation, I am dumbfounded how others can look at the same sky and fail to see the hand of God in it.  I understand that orange clouds at sunset are functions of light shining through prisms and reflecting off water vapor in clouds, but when we look at them and see beauty, the fact that we see beauty is, in my mind, greater evidence of the existence of God than the orange clouds themselves.

I’m grateful to God for all that he gives me, which is everything I have.  This sunset, between Douglas and Casper, Wyoming, was an awesome gift.

This world an its inhabitants are no accident.


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