The first movie I ever remember seeing was the “spaghetti western,” The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The movie was filmed in 1966 which means I was three years old at the time but I distinctly remember watching this Clint Eastwood film. It was my first taste of the “American West” even though it was filmed in Italy.
I’ve been searching for the personification of that movie ever since. I wanted to experience the dry desert air, the red dirt, the sagebrush. I’ve been lots of places that had those things but until last week, I had never felt like I had stepped into another world. Forgive me but I am going to be shamelessly melodramatic here.
While in Utah last week, I had the pleasure of experiencing Red Canyon in the Dixie National Forest on my way to visit Bryce Canyon National Park. I was so excited because the rocks were flaming orange and the sky was developing some dark clouds which brought many great photo opportunities…
Then the sun began to set which made the rocks even more brilliant…
Needless to say, I was pretty excited! Then there was Bryce Canyon National Park. I don’t know if you’ve ever been but the natural beauty and strangeness of the place is magical…
I was even blessed with a beautiful sunset as I left the park…
But…and here is where the melodrama begins…it wasn’t until the next day on my way to Kodachrome Basin State Park that I felt as if I had finally found “it.” The American West I had been looking for all these years.
The difference lay in the fact that the drive there was very isolated. Everyone else was at one of Utah’s 5 National Parks, while I was on my way to a state park. No RV’s filled with families clogging the road…just me and a stray car every once in a while. The drive itself was what was so exceptional…I had finally stepped into the American West. The air was dry, the breeze was hot, the sun was high. You could see forever on a day like this.
There was evidence of past life here in this desert place…
But I was all alone on a planet I had created in my mind a long time ago.
My arrival at the state park was even more satisfying. Once again, it was just me surrounded by sagebrush, red rocks, blue skies and sunshine!
Never have I felt so satisfied. Well, maybe I have but at that moment is was the best feeling ever!
Then reality came crashing in. I got back in my car and found that the motor had gone out in the window on the driver’s side. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the window was up but it wasn’t. Suddenly, it didn’t matter that I was currently in my own little fairytale world…I had to get that window fixed!
First I began to beg God to just get it to go up! That lasted for a few miles, especially when it started to rain. Then, when I saw that He wasn’t going to work things out that way I consulted my GPS and drove to a mechanic…praying all the way that he would know what to do, that he would be open and that he would be fair when he charged me.
All I can say is, “God is good.” The mechanic the GPS sent me to was the only one in a 50 mile radius that had the capability to know what to do, he was open at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday in a town smaller than Woodworth and he only charged me 25.00. My prayers were answered! Of course now I can’t roll my window down until I get home and have the motor replaced but that’s okay…I won’t get wet or hot and my belongings are safe.
Now I have spent the last few days in New Mexico working with the good people here in Farmington, Aztec and Bloomfield. We’ve had two days of VBS and 8 children have been saved so far! I’m responsible for their Bible Study and Missions lesson. We’ve had two revival services, one of which was at a Navajo church on the reservation here. I got to share my testimony at that service and it was such an honor.
So…I guess I would say that no matter how excited I was about finding what I considered “it”, this is the true life experience…the “it” that really matters…sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and seeing new believers join the family!
For now, that’s the good, the bad and the ugly of it all. I’ll share the pictures of this VBS and these revival services on my next post. Until then, I pray that you enjoy your “journey” as much as I am enjoying mine.