So, I walked home from work today. Not fully because I wanted to. I have to work on my car, and I didn’t have a ride at the time I started, but I thought it was a good opportunity to get ready for my mission trip so I figured why not embrace it. Probably looked like a bum, but that is okay. It was a beautiful day. The only thing probably not so beautiful about it was probably my hair. I saw things that I haven’t seen before. Pretty crazy considering I have lived in the same city since I was born. Gone down all the roads 100’s of times before. Been to the park more times than I could ever count. But you read it right I saw new things. Okay, maybe not “New” things, just old things in a new light.
So, first off let me give you a small tour of what this trek was like through my eyes. So, imagine a highway, but not like a big highway in a big city, just a small-town highway one lane going one way the other going the other way. Then a park right off said highway, where the first thing on your left is a graveyard, and on your right a league baseball/softball practice field. Then up the road a bit the league softball/baseball field. Next, we see a basketball court and a little pavilion across the street. Just a bit farther we see the bridge, which is really just a road that gets flooded quite often when it is either too windy or rainy. Then a humongous hill… okay maybe not humongous, but seems like it when you’re a little over half your trip. We keep going and see a playground on your left and a playground on your right. The left playground being an older one and on the right the newer most updated. Right across the fence from the older playground is the City pool that is getting renovated for the first time in who knows how many years. Now we are in the residential area. We see house after house. Now they don’t look the same. Each one is uniquely made to reflect the owner. Some have toys out front, some have renovations going on, and still others a place where a garden will probably be in the springtime. Finally getting home to the place most familiar, and most importantly the place where I get a nice cold cup of ice water.
Quite a journey if you ask me. Until I tell you this whole trip was about 4.5 miles. I know I know a huge paragraph just to explain all that I saw in 4.5. I am getting to the point I do promise there is a point to this, just continue to hang in there, please. Now all this great detail that is probably not asked for or even needed to tell you what God showed me on this 4.5-mile hike home. Now I will walk back through a few of these things I saw. Please don’t stop reading this will be a smaller paragraph, or at least broken up into multiple small paragraphs so you don’t notice how much longer it is. Now I may skip around just keep trying to hang in there.
So we are on the highway trekking along putting one foot in front of the other. Of course, this wasn’t too bad; it was in the upper 70’s and a decent breeze. So, as I was walking there is a stretch, where I am walking close to the highway with no trees to give me shade. Then I get a bit further and feel the cool air and shade from the beautiful trees. The light of the sun I saw first was hidden in the shade of the trees. Both beautiful and comforting in their own separate ways. I would say it was pretty good.
Next, I could see the sun on the horizon. It was not too bright because it was starting to set, and I could start to see the moon, just preparing myself for the stars to come out later on that night. I would say that it was pretty good too.
Now I am in the park. I see the water and think about how insane it is that this water evaporates and creates clouds. How the water cycle continues without us. How it was here before us and will be here long after us. Thinking about how the clouds help give us cool rainy days to give us a break from the hot and sunny days. It is a good thing too.
Now all this time I see beautiful birds (along with the annoying, but beautiful nonetheless honking geese). The dogs, cats, or alpacas of the earth. And of course, being the fisherman that I am, I think about (as Dr. Seuss said) “black fish, blue fish, old fish, or new fish” that may be lurking in the waters below. Of course, they were all good too.
It was a huge blessing to be able to see the beautiful trees, landscape, and plants throughout my not-so-far walk. The century plant, yuccas, and cactus are all a part of the beautiful Texas wildlife. And just as it has been my whole life it was good also.
Now to the exciting part. Whilst I was walking my heart out, I noticed a kiddo learning how to bat with their dad. A beautiful family out fishing by the water. Friends out talking to one another hanging out and enjoying each others company. The smell of barbeque, so of course a family eating well. And even the graveyard full of lives and stories that once lived, breathed, and loved. All the land is beautiful, the sky, the water, and the animals. It is a blessing to have them all, but nothing I tell you there is not one thing that is a bigger blessing than the human beings that God put on this earth. Do we mess up? Oh so much! Do we deserve to be alive? Probably not. We are sinful people who like to do bad. But the craziest thing is God saw us and He didn’t say they are gross, nasty, horrible people. He said we are very good. Not semi-good. Not a little good. Not just a little above the rest of creation, but that we are VERY good.
We are born on this earth to do what? Learn more about Fishing? Baseball? Computers? Science? Cooking? Music? No, not any of that. It is a blessing to be able to learn about them, but we have a greater purpose, and that is to spread the Good news about Jesus. To show kids about God, and teaching of the great sacrifice that God gave us. To show our brothers and sisters, that we are loved so much that we were worth dying for. No, not a quick and painless death. Not a death that was an accident. A slow and painful death. A death that He knew was coming. A death that He solely came for. So, what are we doing? We are only gonna take the blessings that God gave us and never give back? We will say thank you God for music, computers, food, and everything else I have, but I can’t give you the time of day. I can’t be the hands and feet of you. Why can’t we? Why do we strive so hard not to? Because it isn’t easy. In fact, it is the opposite. Do you think carrying the cross after being beaten with a whip was easy? Do you think getting nails hammered into your wrists and ankles was easy? Do you think getting spit on and hurled insults was easy? Jesus told us if the world hates us to remember it hated Him first. Jesus told us to deny ourselves, and take up the cross. Deny our comfort, deny our happiness, and deny our wants. Because Jesus (and only Jesus) will give us everlasting rest, never-ending joy, and everything we will ever need. So, don’t say but God it is hard and scary. Say Yes Lord, I will stand up, leave my belongings behind and carry my cross as You once did for me. I will go to the ends of the earth and profess Your Name. As You died for me I will die for you.
This is my prayer.
Here I am Lord.
I will carry my cross.
I will go wherever you call.
Your Name will forever be on my lips.
I will die for Your Great and Powerful Name to be heard.