Saturday, the kids and I took off on a short adventure. The day was half-gone and the rain had made it a dreary, lazy day. The little one announced he didn’t want to sit around the house any longer. Taking advantage of two kids who both wanted to leave the house, I tossed the keys to the teenager and picked a destination. Since we now live in the sticks, we’re only about an hour away from Boone. As the mountains started popping up around us rather than looming in the distance, the fog starting appearing around us also. Although this was a wrinkle I hadn’t counted on, I decided the trip would go on.
After we drove through Boone (and made a quick stop at the original Mast General Store), we headed south on Highway 421 then got on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The best friend had taken me to see the Cascades waterfall at EB Jeffress Park last year and I wanted to show the kids. The fog was so thick, we were unable to read the signs until we were directly in front of them. However, we had come that far and the little one was practically chanting “waterfall” so I wasn’t giving up!
Finally, a sign that said “Cascades” and an arrow appeared in front of us. We parked and started walking. I pointed to the normally beautiful overlook and explained to the kids that there was an incredible view “over there…when it’s not foggy.” They looked at me, then looked again at the murky spot that I was pointing at….and laughed. There was honestly no evidence that anything existed beyond the edge of the grass. I quickly promised them that we would return so I could prove what I had told them!
As we took the trail down to the top of the waterfall, the trees cut the fog somewhat, but there was still no evidence that there was anything beyond the murk that had cut our visibility so drastically. Any open space was so covered with fog, it might as well have been non-existent. I gazed as hard as I could, looking for any shapes, but found only clouds. Even at the top of the waterfall, we could only see straight down. The “outlook” was pretty grim. How like life, I thought.
So often, I think we get caught up in the everyday “fog,” forgetting that life is short. In fact, the Bible says our very lives are like a vapor! (James 4:14). What then, should we do? We can’t quit living. We can’t look to the sky every second, waiting for Jesus. God has work for us. Jesus told the disciples, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:17-20. The idea of teaching others about God wasn’t unique to the New Testament. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says,
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
There it is. We’re to tell others about God, tell them the good news. Those of us who are believers, followers of Christ, know that there is more than what we’re experiencing in the here and now. We know that the Bible promises, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. If I am to believe the scriptures, then I must believe that it is my job to tell others. To live a life of purpose that makes others hungry for the more that only God offers.
What is the “more?” Well, the obvious answer is Heaven. Eternity in the presence of the One True God, where He alone serves as the light and there will be no more sorrow, no more pain, no heartache, no war. (Revelation 21:1-4, 23) Sounds good, doesn’t it!?! It does to me! And it sounds like what our world needs right now.
But there’s even more to the more than Heaven. It’s the peace that we can experience in the here and now. It’s the fact that we can experience God’s presence in our lives, even though we can’t see Him. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7. Hmmm….I think the world could use some of that, too.
So, what do we do? We love. We live our lives with our eyes open for opportunities to reach others with God’s love. And we teach whoever will listen.
As for me, very soon, one fine sunny day, I’m going to pack a picnic lunch, toss the keys to my teenager and make the trek back to EB Jeffress Park. I’m going to point beyond the grass line and beyond the trees and show them the incredible views we missed on Saturday. And I’m going to remind them that God created all that. I will recount the good things He has done in our lives, the miracles we’ve seen, the blessings we’ve received. And I’ll trust that God will meet us in it and remind my children, His children, that He is alive and well and hasn’t forgotten us…even when the outlook seems grim.
I challenge you to do the same. Tell someone what God has done for you! Who knows whose heart you may reach?
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. Revelation 12:10-11
Be blessed and tell someone you love them!