Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Dear Linwood Friends,
I suspect that for most of us the summer season at Linwood seems like a distant memory now that we are several weeks into the fall. That’s not all bad. The days, and the seasons, and the years march along. I do hope, however, that there are certain memories that the Lord allows to linger within your heart, memories that help you to anticipate with eagerness the coming season at Linwood.
This is the last Wednesday e-mail you will be receiving from me – for a few weeks. On Monday Jan and I leave for a South American adventure. Our destination is Brazil – specifically the Pantanal. I have found that there are very few people who have even heard of the Pantanal. It is considered the second best wildlife destination in the world – second only to the Serengeti (you have heard of the Serengeti, haven’t you? Just think “Lion King.”). The Pantanal is an area that resembles the Everglades in Florida, but is about ten times the size. The animal that everyone wants to see is the jaguar. There are, of course, dozens of other animals as well as hundreds of species of birds.
We are very excited about this trip. The decision to go has been somewhat last minute. There were some openings on a tour led by a company we had used before as well as a last minute discount. And we are at the point where we are beginning to realize that the number of years we will have to travel internationally are limited.
Isn’t it interesting how the size of our world expands and contracts over a lifetime? When we are first born our world is tiny – consumed by the moment and the place where we are. As we grow, our world grows as well – a world to be discovered and experienced. In my lifetime that world has dramatically expanded through technology and transportation. As a child – or even a teenager – I never would have dreamt that one day I would be at the Red Square in Moscow, or the Taj Mahal in India, or the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, or the Pyramids in Egypt, or the Lion King Rock in Tanzania! Now I am fast approaching the time when I will once again find it hard to believe that I was indeed in such places.
Both Jan’s and my mothers have been graced with long lives (Jan’s mom is now 85 and my mom passed away at age 99). We have watched how, as they grew older, their worlds once again gradually became smaller and smaller. For both there came a time when their traveling days were done. And then as the years continued to pass, their focus and interests became more and more confined to the world near at hand.
There are those who moan and groan and fight with this progression. Yet I suspect that this too is a part of God’s design for the span and rhythm of life.
This, however, is not where I want to conclude! For us as followers of Christ, life is more than being born, living, and dying. Resurrection is the conclusion – not death!
There are many things about the resurrection life that we don’t know. So much of what lies before us is a mystery. So much will be a glorious surprise for us. Yet this I know: When the Lord takes us to be with Him in eternity, we will have a “world view” that is as big as the cosmos! We will go from a perspective that is confined and limited, to one that is ageless, timeless, limitless – one that is as big as God Himself!
Can you imagine what it will be like that day when we take our first step into eternity? No, you can’t. Neither can I. But it is going to be incredible!
See you there – someday!
Yours in Christ,
Linwood Park Pastor
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