Pastor's Corner

BE STILL MY SOUL

When I remember our time spent in Interior Alaska, I always go back to the circular trail that I walked on, which was located 500 yards behind our parsonage in Delta Junction, Alaska.  The trail was approximately three-quarters of a mile long, and as long as the temperature had not plunged below -30 degrees F, at least twice a day I would walk that length with our mastiff mix rescue dog, Alisha.  It was on that trail that I saw the magnificence of nature directly from the Master's Hand.

There I would see a mother moose trotting with her babies, grouse moving around in the bushes, and caribou wandering out in the distance.  One time I even came upon a freshly-killed black bear not more than 20 feet from the trail.  Around the second week of April, thousands of sand hill cranes would fill the sky for hours as they came to their summer nesting grounds in the Delta Junction area.  Their loud calls would emanate from the sky for up to six hours; I recall one Sabbath day in the Delta Junction Church, hearing them for endless hours as I vainly tried to preach over their delirious sounds.

The special place on the trail was named Schenk's Landing.  The trail opened to offer a stunning view of the Granite Mountains in the distance, with a small lake in the foreground.  There I would gaze and view a moose sipping water at the lake, along with either some sand hill cranes or other birds placidly floating on the water. Sometimes a fox or Lynx could be viewed close by.  The Delta Junction area was located in a valley surrounded on two sides by two majestic mountain ranges:  the Alaskan Range and the Granite Mountains.  If one timed their approach to Schenk's Landing at just around dusk (in the summer that would be around midnight), the setting sun would turn the color of the Granite Mountains from gray to a stunning pink.  Viewing that ethereal scene, with a mother moose and her babies sipping water at the lake in the foreground, I would remember the words of the Psalmist:  "Be still, and know that I am God."  (Psalm 46:10)

Pastor Fred Shoemaker

Phone: 740.507.7499
Email: fred.shoemaker@ohioadventist.org