When traveling, I've always enjoyed the majesty and mystery of the many churches built throughout history; soaring arches and ceilings, carefully considered lighting in sync with seasonal rhythms, and the various carvings, stained-glass windows, and statuesque tributes.
My memories are chock full of photo snippets from Churches in England, France, Sweden, New York, and even my hometown church of Minster Ohio.
However, none of those memory snippets compare to some of the outdoor location memories where my heart felt an overwhelmingly strong message that I was, at that very moment, in "the" Church of God and so very close to our Father.
As a Boy Scout, I first experienced a wilderness version of...
Holy Mass on camping trips with our church-sponsored troop. From the first, I was hooked. There is something so extraordinary about prepping an altar in the middle of a woods and a priest holding mass with the scouts huddled around amidst the trappings of a camping trip. Those were some of my favorite masses to serve and they always left me feeling somehow closer to God versus mass at any other location.
This past week, while visiting The Grand Teton National Park, we hiked to Lake Taggart and that same old boyhood feeling emerged. Sitting on a rock outcropping, dangling my feet over a crystal clear and cold lake, I felt as if I were in "the" Church of God once again.
The National Park details will explain that Lake Taggart is a 305 acre, glacially-carved lake named for William Rush Taggart, an assistant geologist under Frank Bradley during the Hayden Geological Survey of 1872.
However, I challenge anyone to sit quietly in such a locale and not ponder the wondrous design implemented directly by God himself. Yes, I know our science provides wonderful explanations for how all the mountains arose and how glaciers carved the slopes and how snow-melt fuels the water flow, however, all of that knowledge only underscores, for me, that it is all by design and not merely a scientific happenstance.
In your own travels, seek out the churches of history and marvel at their beauty and our human attempts to glorify God via our construction abilities.
Then, hit the trail, find your own Lake Taggart and worship in "the" original Church of God.
PS Click for More Grand Teton & Yellowstone Photos