By: Jean Boonstra
Piper and Umi are on a hike with their families. It’s the perfect spring day to exercise your faith!
“Piper,” Umi said, her breath feeling shallow in her chest. “I need a rest,” she gasped. “I’m still not used to the elevation in the mountains.”
“Umi,” her dad asked, “Are you ok?”
“We can stop for a minute,” Piper said.
“Let me check your pulse,” Umi’s dad said, reaching for her wrist.
“Dad,” Umi protested. “I’m not one of your patients.”
“There’s a perfect spot to rest right over here,” Piper said taking her friend’s arm.
Umi followed Piper off the trail. They sat down in front of a big rock and leaned against it.
Umi sighed and then let out a sharp gasp.
“What’s wrong?” her dad asked, alarmed. “I told you I needed to check your pulse!”
“Dad, I’m ok,” Umi said. “Look! What are they?”
“Oh, the flowers are in bloom!” Piper said looking out at the scene in front of them. Just then a man in a ranger hat hiked towards them.
“Tally Ho,” he greeted them. “Is everything alright?”
“Yes,” Umi’s dad said with a grin. “My daughter is just overwhelmed by the flowers.”
“The rudbeckia hirta are in full bloom.” the man said.
“The what-now?” Umi asked. “And who are you?”
“I’m Ranger Bob,” he explained. “These yellow flowers with the black centers that you’re admiring are rudbeckia hirta. Also known as black-eyed Susans.”
“Do they smell nice?” Umi asked, curious.
“Why don’t you find out for yourself?” Ranger Bob asked.
Umi and Piper leaned over the yellow flowers.
“They smell ok,” Umi said with a shrug.
“They aren’t the most fragrant flowers but don’t tell your friends from Maryland that,” Ranger Bob said.
“Why not?” Piper asked quizzically.
“This is the state flower of Maryland,” Ranger Bob explained.
“Well, I think that they’re beautiful,” Umi said. “The flower petals are all so perfect.”
“They sure are,” Piper agreed. “They weren’t here a few weeks ago.”
“No,” Ranger Bob explained. “At this high elevation flowers can bloom quickly. This ledge was just rocks and dirt a few weeks ago. And now look at it.”
“It’s like that verse we read in Chaplain Jake’s class,” Piper said to Umi. “Remember?”
Umi furrowed her eyebrows. “A verse about black-eyed Susans?”
“No,” Piper said. “The one about creation and all things being new again.”
“That sounds like 2nd Corinthians 5:17,” said Ranger Bob.
“I’ll look it up in my Bible app,” Umi’s dad said. “Here it is.”
“Read it for us, Dad,” Umi said.
“Alright. ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’” Umi’s dad read.
“That’s the one,” said Piper. “When we give our hearts to Jesus He makes us like a new creation.”
“Oh, just like this ledge,” Umi nodded. “It went from rocks and dirt to something beautiful.”
“A new creation,” Piper said with a happy sigh.
“You ready to rejoin the group, Umi,” her dad asked.
“Yeah, I feel brand new,” Umi said with a smile. “Hand me that water bottle, Piper.”
“Catch!” Piper said. “Thanks for telling us about the flowers, Ranger Bob. Ranger Bob?”
“He disappeared,” Umi’s dad answered. “Maybe he’ll pop up again just in time for another creation nugget.”
“Oh dad,” Umi laughed. “Come on, let’s hike.”
Umi’s dad is right. Ranger Bob will be back for more Creation Nuggets, only on the Discovery Mountain Club.