“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”Romans 1:20
One of my most favorite activities in this life is camping and backpacking wherever and whenever I can. Whether it’s in a national park, my backyard, or somewhere in between, there is something about being outdoors in that setting that I have always enjoyed. And for the record, although I’m a purist at heart and have done it all, the trendy fad of glamorous camping or “glamping” is still better than nothing.
Over the years, I have had the privilege to camp and backpack in many amazing locations, and there are, of course, many locations that are on my list to visit in the future. However, there is one place in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost subrange of the Rocky Mountains, that will always be a special to me for a variety of reasons. The location is a high adventure base offering guided backpacking trips into the wilderness for youth.
Growing up in the household of a young, widowed mother we were very aware of our spending and avoided any unnecessary purchases. When I learned of the high adventure base in New Mexico and the programs they offered, I knew I had to go regardless of the cost. After much teenage begging and a reeducation of wants versus needs, my mother offered a compromise. She would pay for a 21-day trek as my Christmas present for that year. Without hesitation I agreed.
That opportunity further fanned the flames of the outdoors at a young age, and today I still think of those three weeks I spent in northeastern New Mexico with great fondness. However, beyond the memories of that trip, or my spring break in the Grand Canyon, or even a recent weekend with my son in the woods behind our house, whenever I am outdoors I am always reminded of and reflect on Romans 1:20.
In this part of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, Paul states that we are without excuse to recognize God’s eternal power and divine nature through His creation. When we see and experience His creation, we realize that we serve an almighty and powerful God and creation is not something of happenstance. Unfortunately, many get lost and worship the creation in a variety of ways and not the Creator. God uses His creation as a way for people to acknowledge that we are accountable to Him, the Creator, and seek His forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ by His grace.
With a background in city management and public administration, Rand brings his expertise to leading the operations of First Baptist Dallas. His wife, Joni, grew up at the church. They have a son and twin daughters.