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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Picture to Pursue

You formed the mountains by Your power and armed Yourself with mighty strength. You quieted the raging oceans with their pounding waves and silenced the shouting of the nations. Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, You inspire shouts of joy.     (Psalms 65:6-8)

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  If that's the case, then being there is worth a million.

Traci (my wife) and I had the opportunity to travel to Loveland, Colorado last week for a conference.  After the conference was over, we took the time one afternoon to drive up into the Rocky Mountains.  It was amazing.  I have no words to describe it.  I can't begin to do it justice.  The beauty, the magnitude, the majesty.  I was physically overwhelmed by the experience, and I don't think it was because the air was thin and I'm out of shape.

We took pictures of it all...the mountains, the valleys, the elk and other "wildlife" we weren't allowed to approach or feed.  But the pictures don't do it justice.  I show the pictures to people and their eyes glaze over by the third photo - the whole "please don't make me look at all your vacation slides" look. I've uploaded them to this site so you can see them, but it will only give you a small glimpse of what we experienced before your eyes glaze over as well.  You just had to be there.

There's another picture that was given to us that I like to visualize in my mind.  It's a beautiful picture of God's design.  In this picture, God gives us a glimpse of what He was thinking when He created all that is seen and unseen.  It's a completely untainted picture of what He had in mind for all of us when He first spoke everything into existence.  It's a picture of a garden...the garden of Eden.

Somehow, I tend to believe that the garden picture is much like my mountain pictures.  It's only a glimpse.  You really had to be there.  The thing is, I really think God want's us to "be there."  I think the reason He gives us the picture is to let us know that the garden exists - that He has a truly amazing experience in store for us if we want it...and we're willing to travel a bit.

Don't get me wrong.  I realize that Adam and Eve were kicked out of that garden and that the entrance is guarded so we can't get back in to the "tree of life."  I understand that we live in an era that will come to an end and only then will everything be restored to the beauty He had in mind from the beginning.  I know that we will not escape death, the pain of childbirth, or working by the sweat of our brows.  But I also read that there's more to this life than just hanging on until we leave it.  There's a picture...a glimpse...of what this life can be while we look forward to everything being restored to perfection.

That's the picture I've decided to pursue.  It's the picture I refer to as "A Garden Walk."  As I've pursued it, I must say that the experience has far exceeded the glimpse that was given in the picture.  It is an experience that I enjoy so much, that I can't help but to want to share it with you.  I want you to experience it, too.  I hope your eyes won't glaze over...it's worth the trip.

How about you?  Do you think there's more to this life than just "hanging on" until the end?