My riding group is a bit confused when Bart pulls into the Quality Inn Hotel parking lot. Carol looks at Mac who only shrugs his shoulders. Faith is asking Pete if we are staying at the hotel. Martha finally clears up our confusion and says, “Guys, there wasn’t much to pick from here with regards to RV parks. There’s one behind this hotel.”
And, indeed, there is. It doesn’t have any WiFi or TV reception, but we are finding that we look at TV less and less. And as far as internet service, we all know we can do with a little less on-line socializing and web surfing.
Of course, my thought is, “What is my French friend, Lucas, going to think if I don’t get in touch with him on our social media site?” Well, Lucas is going to have to wait a day. I know he will understand.
We help Bart get the trailer setup then we head to the grocery store to pick up tonight’s supper ingredients. We decided to keep it simple with hot dogs, hamburgers, and chips. Faith throws in a can of baked beans. I think that isn’t her wisest move, but I say nothing.
Once shopping is done, we head to the Navajo Interactive Museum. I am in awe of the history of the Navajo nation. This is a place I want to come back to when I’m done with this trip of mine.
Next, we drive out to Coal Mine Canyon where I meet a nice photographer named Matt. He’s already taken some wonderful shots of this breathtaking canyon, so I wonder why he’s hanging around. Of course, my suspicious side kicks in, and I think he’s really not a photographer but someone who is up to no good. I go so far as to assume he stole the camera and never took any of those pictures. Faith is as guarded as I am, but, once again, Bart starts talking to Matt as if they were old friends.
Turns out, Matt is waiting for sunset to get his final shots. And within fifteen minutes, we begin to see what he’s waiting for. Matt smiles and says, “Now that’s the ‘God’s Canvas’ I’ve been waiting for.” We all start snapping pictures of this majestic place. Words cannot describe the feeling you get while standing on this ridge looking out over the rugged canyon.
And Matt describing it as God’s Canvas is spot-on. There are pinks, oranges, purples, along with some light yellows and dark blues. And all of my suspicions about Matt wash away when he helps me understand how to get the most out of the camera I’ve owned for years. He shows me just exactly how to get that professional look. How can I ever pay Matt back for his kindness?
I decide to invite him to dinner, something I shouldn’t have done since I have not been allowed to buy any food on this trip since meeting up with my friends. But they all agree that’s the least we could do for Matt’s professional help and knowledge.
That night, as we sit around a campfire talking about today’s events, I wonder where Matt’s travels will take him next? It’s not long before I find out. Matt will be headed to the Grand Canyon, our next stop. We ask if he would like to tag along.
Matt eyes our bikes and says, “I’d love to, but is there any way I could use one of those bikes?”
Pete is quick to say, “Use mine. I’ll drive your car.”
We settle in for the night, happy that we’ve added one more person to this growing party of mine. I can hardly wait to see what Matt will be seeing along the road. I bet he takes a bunch of pictures before we even get to the Grand Canyon.
My final thoughts before falling asleep are, “Thank you, God, for showing me Your canvas of life. You’ve painted in another person I’ll never forget. Matt, thanks for showing me God’s Canvas.”
And in my real world, there have been many times I’ve gotten a glimpse of God’s Canvas. Sometimes it’s a brilliant sunrise on Pikes Peak, or a crystal clear stream. But often times, God’s canvas shows the harshness of life, like a homeless man in a tattered coat waiting in a soup kitchen line, a child longingly looking in a bakery window only to find out those delicacies aren’t in their parent’s budget. But if one truly looks at this canvas even when the bleakness is showing, they’ll see God’s love. God is everywhere we look, in everything we do, and in every person we see. We just need to be aware of the beauty that surrounds us daily.
Much like Martha and Jake are finding out on their own state-by-state bike trip in my first novel, Going the Distance. You can read more about this book by clicking on this link – www.amazon.com/dp/1500552607 And as always, let’s keep going the distance.