top of page

The First National Park - Yellowstone

As we continue our summer road trip, we come a little closer to home, to Yellowstone National Park. Located in parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, Yellowstone was the first national park ever created

Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park

In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the legislation establishing Yellowstone as the first national park, not just in the United States, but in the world. Having recently celebrated its 150th anniversary, Yellowstone remains one of the most well-known and most visited of our national parks.

Yellowstone has it all: mountains, geysers, waterfalls, rivers, buffalo, bears, wolves, elk, petrified wood, and more space than anyone person could explore in a lifetime.

While Yellowstone is known for many things, perhaps the most iconic image and site is Old Faithful. Yellowstone is full of geysers, but they’re generally unpredictable. While the superheated water rocketing through underground tubes, jetting out in plumes that can reach 300 feet in height is spectacular, it’s hard to predict when they will go off.

But then there’s Old Faithful. Without fail, every ninety minutes or so, Old Faithful erupts. At any time of year, any kind of weather, with unceasing regularity, Old Faithful will gurgle and rocket water into the sky for just a few minutes.

Maybe then, it’s not surprising that Yellowstone got me thinking about faithfulness. Most of the time, we consider faithfulness as an attribute of God. But Yellowstone, and its history, also reminds me of our call to faithfulness.

Ulysses S. Grant made Yellowstone a national park to keep one of the world’s most awe-inspiring landscapes pristine. It was the beginning of the whole national park system that we have come to cherish.

We may not know Grant’s exact motives, but his presidential act is one demonstration of our call to faithfulness. We have set aside Yellowstone, and our other national parks, to protect their beauty. We have been called to be faithful caretakers of God’s creation, ensuring that places like Yellowstone are around for generations to come.

In the creation account of Genesis 2, God creates the land, the trees, and the rivers. And then, God creates the first human. And God places that human, Adam, in the garden “to work and take care of it.” In the space God created, with all its beauty, God places the first human there to participate in the work of creation by caring for it. The garden was not a place God created and then left, but a place God created for tending.

From the very beginning, humans were placed by God to be caretakers of creation. The fall doesn’t change our role are caretakers of creation. The poetic words of Psalm 8 remind the people of Israel, and us, not only of the power and wonder of God’s creation, but also our responsibility in tending and caring for creation.

And so, as we journey to Yellowstone, we are reminded that creation is sacred and deserves to be protected. And we are reminded that we are called and created to be faithful caretakers of God’s creation.

Grace and peace,


0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page