Natalie Ogbourne

One strange thing about the internet world is that I don’t actually know where many of you live. Oddly, though, because of this unfamiliar terrain we’re collectively navigating, I can probably pretty accurately guess that most of us are at home much more than usual.

How’re you doing with that? Today I am meh, but so is the weather. Every day is different.

I live in the midwest, where it’s generally flat. Part of our family lives a few hundred miles to the south of us and part lives a few hundred to the north. The ones in the south have consistently warmer weather and the ones in the north have colder. This is not new news and, geographically, it makes sense.

Even though it’s from a distance, I like to keep up on the happenings in Yellowstone so I’ve been reading For Everything There Is a Season: A Sequence of Natural Events in the Grand Teton-Yellowstone Area. Week by week, it follows the general pattern of observed events in the created order in the Tetons and Yellowstone. I expected to learn more about the way of things in Yellowstone. What I didn’t expect was spiritual challenge.

I should have. God has been using Yellowstone to shape me for most of my life.

In the chapter for the last week of March, the author points out that when it comes to microclimates within the landscape, a shift in incline as small as five degrees to the north can alter the sunlight received to the point that the temperature of the soil decreases by as much as a move 300 miles in the same direction.

When I first read this, it was something of a surprise. But when I thought about it, it made sense. Temperature change in relationship to distance moved north or south I understand from traveling several hundred miles in those directions. Microclimates and inclinations of slope I understand from hiking. Surfaces that receive the sun are warmer than those that don’t.

So, I had to ask myself about the inclination of my face in the midst of the mayhem we’re all walking through. Just where am I looking? At the ground? At the news? At my circumstances? At the Son?

Let me ask you what I asked myself: What are you inclined to right now? It matters. It affects the microclimate of your heart, soul, mind, and even strength. If you’re feeling a chill during this ever-lengthening season of uncertainty, consider your orientation. Is it upward, toward the Son, or has it shifted a few degrees?

Pause, ponder your path, and press on!