Craters of the Moon National Monument


“Visit the moon without leaving Idaho,” reads the cover of one of the brochures for Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho, a place Chandler and I visited on our recent trip. It’s a fascinating place with over 53,000 acres of cinder cones, lava tubes, tree molds, lava rivers, spatter cones, and lava beds as far as you can see. In 1969, Apollo astronauts came here to study geology that would help them identify rock formations on the moon. NASA still uses it today to study volcanic formations on Mars and train future martian explorers to be field geologists.

Chandler loved it. He’s always been fascinated with strange geological formations and this trip was rich with examples from Postpile National Park in California to Zion National Park in Utah, but none as weird as Craters of the Moon. One hill, pictured above, is covered entirely in crushed lava, making a surreal flat black backdrop to Chandler and the people climbing it. There is much that is mystical about this place; it definitely has an other-worldly quality.

Chandler’s sense of the spiritual has always been centered in the mystical, which makes me nervous sometimes, although I have come to resist putting down what I don’t understand. So far it has helped him connect with the Lord, and who am I to argue with that? A background steeped in legalism can make us fearful of anything we don’t understand, yet who are we to take issue with anyone’s spiritual journey? Arguing against someone else’s experience is a fruitless task. Better to point them to the truth than to try to prove them wrong about something we know little or nothing about.

Our job is to move people on to the truth rather than dissect their past or try to figure out whether they are right or wrong. In fact, there will be things in someone’s past that can be a springboard to the truth, and these are the things we want to look for in someone’s story rather than to try to prove them wrong. Besides, what great thing have you done by proving someone wrong? All you do is make them defensive. Better to agree with what is right about what they already believe and move on from there.

As I say in one of my songs …

Jesus is the only way,

But there’s more than one way to Jesus.

                       from “The Only Way” by John Fischer


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10 Responses to Craters of the Moon National Monument

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Loved reading Today’s Catch! It reminded me what I learned out of Dale C’s great people skills book: “How to Win Friends…” in it he writes, a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. So never tell someone they’re wrong, yet look for areas of agreement…

    PS And didn’t Jesus once say, which I believe is from the book of Proverbs, agree with your adversary quickly.

  2. kellief4 says:

    I am so loving reading about all of this trip. The blessing was so meaningful. And now this really cool place. And all the trip before and in between. God is so good. He creates the intangible (the depth of meaning of a blessing that we cannot see) to the tangible (a glimpse of “the moon” on earth). And then gives us a mind and soul to believe, explore, question… Praying this will be a spiritual journey that will sustain you both and keep you amazed for a long time!

  3. Bob says:

    Thanks for this encouragement to listen to, seek to understand where God is already at work and love people. I believe it was a devotional that you wrote for the Purpose Driven Life that first helped me understand that all truth is God’s truth. We should not fear God’s truth even if it comes from unfamiliar places, cultures, or religions. In fact the more I am secure in my own faith, the less I am threatened by the “different”, or the”other “.

    • Sandie says:

      Contrary to what some Christians believe, we have not cornered the market on truth. We don’t own exclusive rights to it; we are – or should be – honor bound to find it and bring it into the open. God isn’t boxed in by our expectations; He uses whom and what He wants, when and where He wants. Case in Point: Balaam’s donkey. Blessings!

  4. Sandie says:

    I don’t believe there is a straight path to the Cross. If there was I don’t think we could or would appreciate the Cross. All of the wandering isn’t really futile – it gives us the experience and insight The Holy Spirit uses to connect us with people. I think it’s only wasted when we try to act like we were always saved. What a fiasco that always turns out to be. People want to hear our WHOLE unvarnished story. Connecting to the real ‘us’ connects them to the real Jesus.
    As Mark said, find where you can agree, build an honest relationship, and leave the rest to Jesus!

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