was a gray and misty day in western nebraska. the bluffs on the edge of the city an uninviting mix of sandy gray and dull green. one definition of “bluff” in verb form is “to deter or frighten with a mere show of strength.” it seemed as though the high, steep banks were doing such to me on that day. not frightening, but deterring. saying stay away. don’t bother making your way up the narrow winding path to the top.

yet we wove our way around the bluff’s turns, through it’s tunnels and made our way to the top. the closer we got, the bluffs began to show signs of character that were not visible from the more distant vantage point. wild flowers growing from cracks in the sandstone. colonies of moss-like plants draping themselves over edges of stone and rubble. the terrain was windswept and rugged, yet signs of fragile and beautiful life not only existed, but seemed to thrive here. it made me glad i had made the effort to come. maybe i get a little nerdy about finding metaphors here and there. but i think it is just incredible that plants grow out of rocks and that flowers bloom in surroundings of stone and sand. and that sometimes harsh conditions produce such a rare and unique display of beauty. it can be totally unexpected. especially when all we allow ourselves is a distant glance. sometimes the best of life needs a closer look to be found. is not always just right out there to be seen without some intentionality on our part.

sometimes i am tempted to settle. to look on from a distance. if there is some kind of bluff going on, i buy into it. i don’t approach. sometimes i choose to let others see things about me only from a distance. to protect myself. to bluff in a deterring way. but as you zoom in closer there is detail. both in seeing and in being seen. there is a less-obvious and more-desirable stuff going on at the same time. if we dare to approach.

this less-obvious, more-desirable stuff is there between us as human beings. it is also there between us and our Maker. if we dare to approach. to draw near. to disregard whatever kind of bluff seems to be going on. whatever it is that may seem to deter us. psalm 34:8 invites us to “taste and see that the Lord is good.”   approach. draw near. take a closer look. consider the less-obvious yet more-desirable view…


~ by fourfeetsixinches on June 14, 2011.

One Response to “scottsbluff…”

  1. You are so right on point there…Sometimes we all “bluff” and try to deter others from getting closer to us…And sometimes we let the big, unknown things bluff and deter us from exploring further….Exploring big things and little things…Exploring the unknown…Even opening up to the world, and to God…But we all just need to dig our heels in a little deeper, and trust that all things will be right, and “learn” as we go into this continuum of daily living…Awesome pictures!!…Lots to think about…

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