By P. A. Meredith
January 16, 2022
In case you're wondering what, this blog is all about, I'll simply explain it as our faith travel blog. This is the third week since we began our spiritual travel adventures for 2022, but it is not the first time we’ve explored our faith. For many, this search is difficult. I, however, am finding this quest more than stimulating. Tired of listening to negative news, comments, and sources, all slowly tearing away at my own beliefs and convictions; we tuned out and turned into exploring our surroundings. Searching for the all good, all positive, and the all hopeful in our world, took us to “looking at the bigger picture” and a way of securing our faith.
I was becoming so selfish and so self-indulgent, that I failed to notice anything in the “bigger picture”. What matters most, is singing praise and glory to the highest, or giving shout-outs and thanks for all the wonderous beauty and power from our heavenly father.
Say it loud! Say it proud!
Say it without fear.
Say it for everyone to hear!
Sing praise to the one who knows,
Shout “hallelujah” joyous song.
Let it grow inside and live long.
This past week we contemplated staying at Stephen Foster State Park near White Springs, Florida, or O’Leno State Park near High Springs, Florida. We decided, O’Leno Florida State Park. Before we left the driveway, we were faced with electrical problems in one of the backrooms at the house. No way was this small problem going to deter or take away from our planned adventure. We decided to put it all in the good Lord’s hands and move forward. Off we went, and I don’t mind saying…I did pray a rosary or two to keep the house in tact until our return.
We eventually made it to the exit near High Springs, Florida and stopped at Sonny’s BBQ to order lunch to go, and eat at the park. We arrived before check-in and decided to head down to the Pavilions, located along the Santa Fe river’s edge. The majestic oak, magnolia and cypress trees provided a peaceful backdrop for our picnic. We chose one of the pavilions close to the water edge. It was quiet and few people in the area, with the exception of a small band of musicians. Approximately a hundred or so feet away from us, was a woman and two or three older gentlemen with banjo, guitar, and fiddle playing to an acoustic tune of “Amazing Grace”. We sat at our table enjoying our surroundings. I was prepared to bite into my BBQ platter, when directly in front of me was a giant ichthys coming out of a huge cypress tree. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and yet, there it was! Two pieces of tree limbs with intersecting arcs, the ends of the right side extending beyond the meeting point, thus resembling the profile of a fish.
In case you’re wondering what exactly is an ichthys or ichthus? It is from the Greek and was adopted symbolically by early Christians as a secret symbol for the “Jesus fish”.
Last week we were fortunate to see messenger wings and now the ichthys. I’ve forgotten how our heavenly father talks to us; whether it be by way of his angels or signs, it does not matter. He talks and I need to listen.
Following lunch, we checked into our site and set up camp in our standing room tent. It was late into the evening when we decided on a light dinner and early bed. We often listen to a digital book when trying to relax. We chose a Miss Julia series by Ann B. Ross. It’s wonderfully light, funny, and entertaining. After listening to the point of relaxation, I turned the digital book off, only to be alerted to major thunderstorms and tornado warnings in the area. I looked at the phone alert to see a weather mapping of heavy storms to the north of us. Our pinpoint location was at the bottom cusp of the storms moving north toward White Springs and away from us. I said three rosaries and then fell asleep.
I woke up in a tent that held true to its name…Standing room tent was still standing. No leaks or water damage. I’ll stop here for now and just add a reminder to give thanks and praise and always keep “looking at the bigger picture”. Keep the faith!