We finally got a date for all of our schedules to mesh for a family get-together. One of our sons lives in Jackson Hole, WY so that’s where we’ll go. Spectacular scenery. Two national parks relatively close by, Grand Teton and Yellowstone.
But getting to see them? Chancy at best. The news is full of reports of federal park rangers blocking tourists from stopping, entering, looking, or any way enjoying our national parks, memorials, or even nearby restrooms. One columnist gave this report:
What happens when you find yourself inside Yellowstone National Park during a federal government shutdown? Try removal by armed rangers.
Tourists this week were locked inside their hotel rooms before being removed by armed park employees from the grounds. Park tour guide Gordon Hodgson, described the actions as “Gestapo tactics” to local Montana paper, The Livingston Enterprise.
Several foreigners thought they were under arrest because the rangers treated them so harshly, evacuated visitor Pat Vaillancourt said.
According to the Eagle Tribune:
When finally allowed to leave, the bus was not allowed to halt at all along the 2.5-hour trip out of the park, not even to stop at private bathrooms that were open along the route.
Other touring parties weren’t so easily intimidated. Tax-paying tourists are tossing the orange traffic cones at several locations. At Zion National Park in Utah, hikers scaled the fences and wondered why so many supposedly furloughed workers were working to keep them out.
If that isn’t enough, a friend sent me this alarming report:
Right now, the ground underneath Yellowstone National Park is rising at a record rate. In fact, it is rising at the rate of about three inches per year. The reason why this is such a concern is because underneath the park sits the Yellowstone supervolcano – the largest volcano in North America. Scientists tell us that it is inevitable that it will erupt again one day, and when it does the devastation will be almost unimaginable. A full-blown eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano would dump a 10 foot deep layer of volcanic ash up to 1,000 miles away, and it would render much of the United States uninhabitable.
Hey, maybe the traffic cones and park rangers aren’t such a big deal after all. Certainly, we’re not to shut down our lives. Note these two very different situations that Jesus spoke about, in Matthew, chapters 24 and 7:
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars … Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places … All these are the beginning of birth pains … Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved …”
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life … Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
It’s an uncertain world out there. We might be inconvenienced, or even suffer. At the fundamental level, Jesus tells us we are to seek his kingdom and his righteousness.
What are you focusing your thoughts, your energies, your time and emotions on? Are fear and anxiety robbing you of peace and purpose?
Do you know how to seek his kingdom and his righteousness?
- Tourists: Armed Park Rangers Used ‘Gestapo’ Tactics at Yellowstone After Shutdown (foxnewsinsider.com)
- Yellowstone Senior Citizens Held in Hotel Under Armed Guard – Bus Not Allowed Bathroom Stops (grumpyelder.com)