God of Wonders

Today’s blog will be slightly out of sync, as we are again on the move, but I wanted to tell you about our Finland adventure.

This week I had an unexpected reversion back to my toddler days.  It wasn’t that pleasant to finally realize, as an adult, how a 3-yr old must feel when dressed for cold weather.
We arrived at our “Northern Lights Village”, about 20 miles from the town of Ivalo and, because our plane had been late arriving,  were ushered hurriedly into dinner, and then directly to a staging area to get equipped for our evening sleigh ride to ‘search’ for the northern lights.
When we had managed to get the requisite layers on, they came at us with the jumpsuit.  It took two of us to enshroud Tony in the waterproof, cold proof, gear, kindly engineered to prevent you from taking a deep breath.  Another smiling and agile person did up my boots for me, as by then I couldn’t reach them to save my hide.
We walked out into the night, goose-stepping like Zombies.
Then I remembered I had forgotten to use the facilities we had passed on the way in. Alas, unlike the toddler, I just had to accept my fate and bear up as I was manhandled, shoved, squeezed and tamped into what they called a “heated sleigh”.  We thought of it more as a tin can on skis.  Eight of us were packed into this tube of terror, each one trying in vain to find a comfortable way to sit, as the hoon on the ski doo responsible for pulling us, shot off at a reckless speed.
And then came the crash.  I believe Tony prayed it in because he was at a 45-degree angle, feet up, with his back jolting at each icy ridge in the trail.  The driver took a corner with a bit too much cavalier of an attitude and broke the yoke, sending us mercifully into a deep and soft snow bank, stopping abruptly while we all screamed, mostly in delight at the chance to be freed from this metallic mangler intent on crushing us.
Are we having fun yet?
Relieved, we extracted ourselves, limb by limb, from the sleigh (as they had so wrongly called it) and rejoiced in the frigid but beautiful North Woods. Tony suggested we all walk back to the lodge, but our guide mumbled something about “wolves” and radioed for rescue. Not to be dissuaded, I flopped on my back and made a snow angel (number two on my Finnish bucket list) and let the falling snowflakes revive me.
After what seemed like hours, and several sleigh changes, a welcome campfire and some loganberry tea (further exacerbating my aforementioned predicament), we arrived home and got to our cabins.
After an hour or so, we realized that we had a backed up toilet (not our fault; it was that way when we arrived), but after the sleigh ride, that was nothing.
But God is good. We couldn’t have predicted it, but the next day was absolutely glorious.
They gave us a new, nicer smelling cabin, we learned the long forgotten toddler rule, to “take care of business before suiting up”, and joined another, slightly better driver and enthusiastic guide for an hour’s ride to a Lapland museum, followed by a short hike thru a virgin forest finishing at a welcome fire and a three-course picnic of Michelin standards.
And then it got dark.  It was still snowing and there was no chance to see the Aurora Borealis……or so we thought.
Our friends have in their possession a buzzer that goes off when the elusive lights are approaching and we had just enough time to extricate ourselves from our delicious dinner of reindeer and exotic salads to zip up, tie down and hurdle ourselves outside.
There is no describing the wonder and beauty of the Northern Lights.  Even Disney hasn’t been able to mimic them.  Later from our bed we tried to sleep but kept getting woken up by light shows coming in thru our glass ceiling.
And so is life.  Sometimes it’s such a struggle, both physically and mentally, and we wonder if it’s worth it….but then, just in a breath of cosmic magic, you find that it is.
The sewer moments, the restrictions of our earthly clothing and the cold………and then the magic!
I always say this, but isn’t God a wonderful?  Such an ammazing artist.  Doesn’t He give us awe-inspiring gifts?
Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.”
And of course the song by Third Day, “God of Wonders” comes to mind as well,

Lord of all creation
Of the water, earth and sky
The Heavens are Your Tabernacle
Glory to the Lord on high

God of wonders, beyond our galaxy
You are holy, holy
The universe declares Your majesty
You are holy, holy

Lord of Heaven and Earth
Lord of Heaven and Earth
And in the words of so many Jews throughout civilisation  “Next time in Jerusalem”!  It’s been 35 years since we’ve been there and we’re looking forward to seeing it again, Lord willing!

Stand by…


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