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- Wild Rivers and Mountain
- Meditations from the High
- by Don
- ISBN: 0932773079
- 126 pages, trade paper
- Wild rivers, rugged mountain trails, tall
forests--these are the natural habitat of Don Ian Smith. Through
the years he has found joy and inspiration in the wilderness
settings of the mountain trails, and his Christian faith has
been strengthened and renewed. Through his closeness with nature
he has received a deeper understanding of God as Creator and
of the necessity for man to be an appreciative tenant of the
- He feels deeply the responsibility man
must share for tending our earth, as seen in his comparison between
a wild river and a Christian life--"a thing of beauty and
delight, serving those who come in contact with it, bringing
a man hope and joy, being in close contact with the world adn
the things of the world, and yet not letting the evil of the
world taint and pollute it."
- All who love the vastness and beauty of
the great outdoors will find inspiration in these imaginative
devotional experiences of a man who is close to God, nature,
- "Climbing the Pinto Creek Trail,
I thought of some of the switchbacks I have had in my own life--time
out for education, financial reverses that taught me some things
I needed to know, sickness that has taught patience, just to
mention a few of the major ones. And the Pinto Creek trail taught
me some things about switchbacks that I hope I will always remember.
First of all, when you are on a switchback that seems to take
forever, remember that you really are climbing a little. From
time to time, we would stop to rest our horses and let them catch
their breath. I could toss a rock into the trail below me where
we had been a few minutes earlier. We had not come a long way
from that spot, and had not come up much higher, but we had come
up a little bit. We were higher on the mountain than we had been--not
much, but some. In life this happens. I take a year to complete
what I wanted to do in a week. But it is done; I have gained
something. I am not actually going in circles. I will not meet
myself coming back.
- "The second thing I learned on that
trail was to enjoy the view as I went along. I didn't have to
wait till we reached the rim to have a fantastic view of the
canyon. Each switchback had its own viewpoint, and put the whole
canyon in a little different perspective than the view from any
other switchback. There were wonderful sights I would never have
seen if I could have gone straight to the top--points of view
and aspects of the canyon that one cannot see from the top. The
exciting views that one gets from the slow progress up the trail
reminded me that too often in life we are so eager to get to
where we are going that we forget to enjoy the trip. And the
journey can often be more interesting than the destination."
- "Our trail led along the edge of
a little canyon. The canyon was narrow, and the floor of the
canyon was about one hundred feet below the trail. Growing up
out of the bottom of the canyon were the most remarkable aspens.
They had been protected from wind by the narrowness of the canyon,
but they had been forced to compete for sunlight. In their efforts
to reach up out of the canyon to catch the life-giving rays of
sun, they had grown extremely tall and graceful. Their slender
white trunks lifted their golden leaves up almost level with
the trail, high above the bottom of the canyon. The tallness
of these trees gave them a remarkable beauty; their struggle
to reach as high as possible gave them a character quite different
from ordinary aspen trees.
- "These tall trees were really a thing
of beauty. I was amazed to see that they could reach so high.
I pondered again the miracle of creation--the ability of plants
and animals to adapt to meet the needs forced upon them by environment.
Yet for all the wonder of their reaching up, these trees reached
only a tiny fragment of the ninety-three million miles to the
sun. Their beauty, their life, even their ability to reach up,
is made possible by the wonder of the sun reaching down to them.
- "As we face the constant challenges
of the world an dseek to live an abundant life, we are constantly
reminded that in our human need we, like the trees, keep reaching
up for the life-giving warmth of God's love. Certainly our efforts
to grow as tall as we can toward him can add beauty and grace.
But we also know that in all our striving we reach only a tiny
fraction of the way. Religion is man's effort, reaching up to
find God. The Christian gospel is the good news that God, like
the warmth of the sun, reaches all the way down to us."
- "Drawing on his intimate knowledge
of the mountains of his home state, Idaho, Mr. Smith finds parallels
between the natural world and spiritual truths. These are thought-provoking
devotionals, not sentimental. The author avoids the all-too-common
rapture that approaches nature worship."
----------Hope Lind, PROVIDENT
- "The author draws from his beloved
countryside, central Idaho, familiar objects on which to base
his meditations. For instance: a snake skin, a caterpillar which
turns into a butterfly, a straw stack and a faithful watchdog
who arouses the household at midnight with his furious barking--when
the author sallies forth to do battle with what he thinks must
be a bear, he finds his faithful dog has merely cornered a toad."
- "This unpretentious little book by
an Idaho minister should serve to make readers eager to hie away
to the mountains. It would be even better if one were able to
share an afternoon or two with Smith as guide or guru."
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