Tuesday, August 23, 2016
This month I did a bit of traveling.
Wes and I traveled up to Niagara Falls
to see what that was all about.
It was fascinating.
Much like the Grand Canyon,
it seems to draw people from every culture to its edges.
So many faiths and ethnicities represented
staring at one of the wonders of the world.
I was curious as to what they thought of what they were seeing
The reactions and actions of all these people
Rushing around to be first in line
pushing to get the best view from the rail
grabbing family photos
and the amount of selfies being taken was crazy
I know I am dating myself here,
but I can remember a time where it was customary
to ask a total stranger to take a photo of your family
so that everyone could be in the picture.
It was a random and friendly way to feel involved
in other peoples moments at the same event.
Now people use selfie sticks or just their own arm.
They do their best to stay in their own little bubble experience.
No small talk,
no friendly chatter while waiting in line,
Don't get me wrong, we tried to engage.
But most people just looked at us funny.
Like they thought we were crazy for speaking to a complete stranger.
I did have one beautiful encounter on one of our bus rides.
I did not get her name,
but I happened to sit next to an elderly Mennonite woman.
She was quiet,
no chit chat,
just like all the others we had tried to engage.
Then at one point as I was looking out the window I stated,
"it is hard to believe that one can not see
the glory of God in these surroundings."
At this point her eyes brightened and she said,
"Yes! God is all around!"
and we began talking about our faith
and our God for the next 5 minutes.
A Christian friend and I went to take a gander
at the new Mormon temple, in Philadelphia.
It would be the only time a non-Mormon could
observe the inside of this building.
For all the manufactured excitement surrounding this event
by those who gave us a tour
and for all the smiles and obvious scripted encounters,
the over arching emotion my friend and I had was sorrow.
For in all the detail and beauty of this building,
which was built right smack in the middle of historical Philly,
the presence of God was absent and
the requirements of men
to become worthy to enter "eternity" were highlighted.
And yet, as we drove back home from that experience
our conversation centered on the fact that
God does not need us to jump through any hoops to be worthy
As the old hymn goes...
Jesus did it all
All to Him I owe!
The last and final trip for the month of August
took Wes and I to Florida
to spend a long weekend with dear Christian friends.
Can I just say, God is good?
Yes I can!
All four of us have been through some stuff these last 5 years.
Major moves from our homeland
Major job changes
And yet, we did not sit around all weekend
and gripe and complain about our lives.
Yes, we shared our struggles with one another
but more importantly
we enjoyed each others company
we sat quietly and watched the ocean
It was good for us all.
No matter where I found myself this month
I was reminded of the presense of God
is more majestic than anything man attempts to create
His Abba Father love
is more perfect than any man focused religion
His gift of refreshment seen in communing with other believers
is more peace giving than any man manufactured event
It is instances such as these that remind me that
God is still here
In the midst of all the man made chaos of this world,
God the Creator and Sustainer of the universe
is still at work and is visible
He continues to invite us to be part of what He is doing
He continues to show off His majesty through creation
He continues to care for His sheep
Man may deny His existance,
but God does not rely on man
Man may continue to pursue answers for life's questions,
But the answers have never changed
The Everlasting God of the Universe holds everything together!
Romans 1:20 (AMP)
For ever since the creation of the world
His invisible attributes,
His eternal power
and divine nature,
have been clearly seen,
being understood through His workmanship
[all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made],
so that they
[who fail to believe and trust in Him]
are without excuse and without defense.