Beaches and Mountaintops

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining even brighter till the full light of day. — Proverbs 4:18
One of the great things about living in North Carolina is you have the benefit of wonderful beaches and the tallest mountains East of the Mississippi.
We view sunsets and sunrises from these locations and marvel at the beauty God provides. It is always with reluctance that we leave such vast panoramas, to return to the valleys of the Piedmont.
For it is in the valleys we are called as well, called by God to his purpose.

Restoration

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up. — Psalms 71:20
The psalmist seems to blame God for his troubles. I am not one to believe that God intervenes in that way, but the psalmist does get one thing right — God restores life.
Whatever the source of our “many and bitter troubles,” God is there to pick us up off the floor and restore us. Consider the many people you know who were restored from the “pit of despair.”
 

Raising Children

No parent will tell you raising children is easy. All of the inventions that are supposed to make life safer and easier for parents and children alike, at times only complicate. They certainly create new issues for parents to grapple.

For most parents we also wish for our children that they develop a relationship with God, not necessarily the same relationship as our own, but a relationship. Where the light shines brightest for a parent, may not be where the light shines brightest for the son or daughter. We can only hope that our children seek the light in their own way.
When I was a child and then as an adult, I was constantly being knocked off the right path and in danger of being lost by the pull of worldly forces. For our children the world has changed and the pull is different, but its goal is the same — to knock us off the right path, the one we were created to follow. The same will apply for our grandchildren for the world changes and the pulls are different for each generation.
As a parent and as a grandparent my prayer is that in the end, they will have wise and discerning hearts, and they will hear and respond to their own soft and sweet song that calls and says, “Come and follow me to God.”

Snakes In the Garden

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. — Genesis 3:1

Ever wonder what a serpent was doing in the Garden in the first place? Any one who knows me understands that snakes are not my favorite of God’s creatures, and yes I bypass the snake house when I go to the zoo.

But getting back to my question — what was a serpent doing in the Garden in the first place? It raises all kind of philosophical questions if you are a literalist, and if you understand it as an allegory it still raises the question how do we innately know the difference between good and evil, at least most of us do.

Call it conscience if you like, each of us have a sense of good and evil and most of the time react toward the good and reject evil. C.S. Lewis wrote a lot about the subject in his book Mere Christianity. I need to go back and read his classic to see if he explains why the snake was there in the first place.

I’m not sure I buy into the belief that we bear the burden of the “original sin.” Seems to me that each of us, to some degree, have enough of our own sins to worry about.

However, I have discovered that a morning’s meditation about “snakes in the garden” can bring on some heady thoughts about the nature of God and man. Good thing I brought a hoe.