Journey to the Kingdom
A couple weeks ago I went with some close friends to Cummins Falls State Park. It was the last chance to hang out before one of the friends moved away. What an adventure we had.
The night before I looked up the website for the Park to find out everything I needed to know about it so I would be prepared. I had heard and seen pictures of the wonderful falls but I couldn't just go off of that.
After reading on everything I needed to know, I began to pack a bag and plan what I was going to wear. The morning of our excursion I got up to finish packing my bag with a lunch, snacks and water of course.
The girls came and picked me up and I noticed Miss Y was in a dress. Miss W commented that I looked like I was ready for swimming. And I could see she was ready too. I thought Miss Y would be OK since she had hiking boots. I didn't know the full extent of what we would be facing however.
We set off on the short trip to the Falls talking about various things and commenting on the lovely views we were seeing.
We pulled onto the road to the Park. I noticed a small convenient store right at the entrance with some tents and campers behind it. Both Miss Y and W had mentioned earlier they were hungry and had forgotten to pack anything to eat. We were about to park and I mentioned the store I saw. So we turned around and headed over there.
The store was the nicest little place. They had snacks, drinks, gear for the falls and hike, and a nice lunch spread and even ice cream...Plus a nice clean bathroom. Major plus!
As we sat to eat, we talked about, among other things, what we might face on the hike to the falls. Miss W and I mentioned there would definitely be swimming involved. Thankfully Miss Y packed some extra clothes. So she decided to change. Wasn't exactly hiking attire but it was comfy at least. After that we headed for the falls.
We looked at the map and headed down the path. We first took the path to overlook the falls... What an exquisite view!
We made our way down the next path to the river, which we didn't realize we would have to pretty much walk through to get to the falls. But Miss Y was faced with an issue. Her hiking boots were leather and could not get wet. The only other option we had for her was a pair of flip flops. But waking through a river with flip flops... would prove to be a challenge. The next challenge occurred when one of the flip flops broke early into the tread through the river. We had nothing else to help her with. She had to walk the rest of the way mostly barefoot. We all made it to the falls but it was a rough go. There's much more to tell about our journey to the falls but I'll save that for another time...
When I stop to think about the lack of preparation up to this point in the journey, I'm reminded of the parable of 10 virgins. (See Matthew 25).
There were five wise and five foolish virgins. What made the other five foolish? Their lack of preparation. They took no extra oil with them while waiting for the bridegroom to come. And so all of the virgins' oil ran out while waiting but the wise virgins had extra to fill their lamps. But not enough to share with anyone else because this oil was very special and had to be acquired individually. And ultimately the foolish virgins missed out on the marriage feast.
Along the way of life we may be able to work out our lack of preparation for things at certain times by the grace of God or by the skin of our teeth. However, if we continually practice a life lived this way (make a habit out of it), one day we may ultimately miss out on that place that Christ has gone to prepare for us. We will miss out on the marriage feast forever.
Servant of the Lord makes this statement about habits. "Pre-established habits and ideas must be overcome in many cases before we can make advancement in religious life." --RH, June 21, 1887. (FE 118.)
But she also gives the solution. "Through the power of Christ men and women have broken the chains of sinful habit. They have renounced selfishness. The profane have become reverent, the drunken sober, the profligate pure. Souls that have borne the likeness of Satan have become transformed into the image of God."--AA 476 (1911).
The Bible puts it this way. "For God is not a God of confusion but of peace." 1 Corinthians 14:33. Bad habits breed confusion right? The bible also says "To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22-24
We can have a better more abundant life here on this Earth and be ready for eternal life with Christ if we would just take the time to prepare. And if you're struggling with preparedness, claim the promises of God. One of my favorites is Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
All you have to do is trust and submit and God will do the rest.