Updated: May 25, 2020
Er, um, sorry. Long weekend and all and I just got mixed up.
One of the over-arching themes of Beyond Belief, to the point that it becomes a character, is its setting. The north shore of Lake Superior, Grand Marais, Minnesota, inland to Ely, Minnesota and the BWCAW (Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness) is a land of breathtaking beauty. Thoughout the growing season, everywhere your eye falls there are gaily-colored wildflowers and blues and greens beyond number. In the autumn, bright golds, reds, oranges and greens glitter like so many jewels against a shining backdrop of blue water. Even in the winter, the pristine white of the snow, the deep green of the pines, the bright sunlight and a sky so blue it hurts the eyes, create a scene of unparalleled
loveliness. This is a fitting place for a man like Jack to make his home.
This setting will be featured time and again throughout the books in this series. Why? Because northern Minnesota has ingrained itself upon my heart. When I behold the splendor of this land, I want to cry out with David, the Psalmist,
When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers,
The moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained;
What is man that Thou dost take thought of him?
And the son of man that Thou dost care for him? (Psalm 8: 3-4 NASB)
All this glory, all this beauty, and yet it wasn’t God’s supreme creation. David goes on to rejoice in God’s grace towards man.
Yet, Thou has made him a little lower than God,
And dost crown him with glory and majesty!
Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands;
Thou hast put all things under his feet. (Psalm 8: 5-6 NASB)
What a privilege and what an awesome responsibility. While man has done many things to disrupt God’s natural order and beauty, man has also acted as a careful steward of God’s gifts. Over 1,098,000 acres in size, the BWCAW is a case in point. This land was set aside in 1926 to preserve its primitive character with the goal allowing visitors to experience expansive solitude, challenge and a deep personal connection with nature. (Further protective legislation was passed in 1964 and 1978) With over 1,200 miles of canoe routes, 12 hiking trails and 2000 designated campsites, a visitor can canoe, portage and camp in the spirit of the voyageurs that passed this way centuries before.*
When I sit in a campsite in the BWCA and smell the fresh air scented by thousands of miles of undisturbed pine, I am so overcome by the beauty of God’s creation that I wonder with David, ‘what is man that Thou art mindful of him’?
May your surroundings today cause you to rejoice in God's wonderful creation.
* Taken from: https://www.recreation.gov/permits/233396