Nestled on a hill high up in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, sits an old rustic lodge built in 1930. Sits solitary outside the tiny town of Stanley, which they say has only thirty or so days a year when the temperatures don’t hit freezing. It’s the Old West you experience here at the guest ranch. Its pool is a thermal one with temperatures steady at over 100 degrees, even in darkest winter when the air descends to 20 below! We’ve been here in late June and early September, both times the freeze greeted us most mornings. This was Summer! I called this a rustic lodge. Don’t be fooled. It’s luxury through and through! With an accommodating and friendly staff to pamper our every need, along with their two managers who make us feel like family, welcomed and urged to come back real soon. No doubt we will!
Far from city lights, you can see stars as rarely seen anywhere or anymore. Light pollution is not heard of at the guest ranch in Stanley. Only problem is that it doesn’t get dark in the summer ’til after 10pm. Even though I find it almost painful, I dragged myself out of our king-sized bed at 3am, stumbled around our comfy cabin, finding my sweats, hoping not to stub a toe or two, keeping quiet as my wife is soundly sleeping. Tip toe out the door, careful not to slip on the frozen grass below my sandals. I look up. And I mean look!
Stars. More stars. The Milky Way. The Big Dipper– bigger than I’ve ever seen it. Constellations. And a new moon tonight, meaning very little of its light to dampen my gander at God’s creation. That’s what it is. The handiwork of our Lord. Psalm 8: 3-4–‘When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him?’ Looking at all God’s wonders in the sky that night, I couldn’t help feeling so miniscule. Almost nothing compared to creation’s grandeur. Could you?
I wish I could have stayed out all night. But soon I felt some fear building within. This city boy wonders what nocturnal animal may be lurking in those shadows. But still, there was time to gaze and ponder and thank God for His creation, ‘the work of His fingers’, as the psalmist says. I thank the Lord for the luxury of seeing so much on a cloudless night at the ranch in Stanley, Idaho.
I humbly concur with King David at the end of Psalm 8–‘O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!’ He was looking at the same sky that I was and worshipping the same Lord that we know.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for creation at its best. Through Jesus Christ, your only Son, our Savior. Amen.