Hawkeye Seventh-day Adventist® Church

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Ps 27:1

Sabbath exploring!

 

Last Sabbath was a beautiful day for a drive! One of my favorite memories is going "driving" with my father and my uncle. Often, they had a destination in mind; sometimes they just wanted to see the countryside; sometimes they had a mission to travel to get a part for some piece of machinery for the farm. The days they invited me to go were a highlight. Sometimes we left without preparing for lunch on the road. Back then—so many years ago—they would not have considered "fast food." I can remember several times that a can of beans was purchased, and then opened with a Jackknife "can opener". But then—how to eat them with no spoons. Farmer inventiveness gave me a lesson in making do. A box was cut and bent and converted into cardboard "spoons." But oh, how interesting those trips were to me. I have often wondered how they knew what was going to be so interesting for us to see and visit. 

 
Years down the road of my life, we were living in Berrien Springs, Michigan and I was working to support my seminary student husband. I loved my job until new people were hired and as one of the store managers, I was left to deal with people who really did not want to work for and with me. I was completely stressed out. It was then that my husband discovered that taking me for drives along the east coast areas of Lake Michigan was a great stress reliever for me and let me leave all the problems behind for a time as we explored rural Michigan. It was just what a young Iowa girl who missed her farm and family needed. I loved exploring! 
 
Even more years later, as our lives got busier and busier, and we moved numerous times to places God put us, we found time to explore the new places God placed us in. And then we finally ended up in Northeast Iowa. And I still love to explore by driving. I'm not so good at the walking exploration but I love to see what is around the next corner and over the next hill, and what can be found on a road that we have never been on before. We have made some interesting discoveries! It reminds me of the song my mother loved to sing to my father as she went with him on vacation driving exploring trips. ”The bear went over the mountain…..to see what he could see.” And me—I am eagerly waiting to go exploring in the earth made new and having my friend Jesus take me to the treasures He has prepared for me to explore and enjoy. What a happy time!
 
But for now, God leads and takes us on roads and paths that we haven't been on before. Traveling with God, as our driver, leads to the unexpected twists and turns in life! But when we look back at the map of our travels, we can see that God knew the destination even when we didn't. You might have thought that you were lost when all along, God knew which times to turn left and when to turn right. Only when I don't follow His instructions do I veer off the road and into trouble. He never leaves me hanging on the precipice without a way out of danger. This week I saw a picture of a truck cab hanging over the side of a bridge, dangling in mid-air. The driver was sure that the end had come until she was rescued. We are like that—seemingly left hanging in troubles with not much hope of rescue and no way to help ourselves out of our predicaments. But then, RESCUE! God was there all along, to take us out of danger.
 
Thinking back to our Sabbath drive—we had been slowly driving along on roads in our area hoping to see some mushrooms growing on trees—like we had seen the Sabbath before! Perhaps we should have gone back to the same place—but we didn't! And we didn't see any mushrooms either! It was just a nice drive, and I greatly enjoyed it. After a bit as it was getting later in the afternoon, we were near the trail where there had been a large number of mushrooms last summer. Would there be more this summer? Garry decided he would like to find out. I decided to see what he found out by waiting in the car for him to come back because that seemed kinder to my painful hip. He walked, I waited, and read a book and checked on Facebook friends, and listened to the birds in the woods and napped and listened to KRJE radio and read and napped..... At one point a pickup pulled into the same parking area and I wondered who it was. As I looked in the mirror to see what was behind me, I discovered a couple getting out to also walk on the trail. Since our car was sort of parked where it ought not to have been—in front of the gate—I was kind of leery about it all. The couple approached the car where I was sitting, I looked up and gave them a cheery Hi! 
And then I was back to my waiting occupation. When it was nearing sundown, I had a phone call from a cousin, and we had a good Sabbath afternoon visit. Finally, as the sun appeared to be close to setting, I decided it was past time for Garry to be back from his walk and to be back at the car. Just as I was about to call him, he appeared coming down the path from around a corner. As he came close, he also got in on the phone call. Then we saw the couple coming back down the path to also end their hike for the day. They had previously visited with Garry as they had met up along the path as he was seated resting. Not only had they talked there, but they also stopped to visit with us again. And we had a really nice conversation with them about many topics, several about religious life and other spiritual matters. Earlier they had invited Garry to visit their church. And they had told Garry that his wife back in the car at the beginning of the trail was really friendly. Hmmm, all I did was smile and say Hi!
 
That got me to thinking!  I knew they would be safe to talk to and that they loved Jesus because of how they looked—how they, especially the wife, was dressed. During the week, we see and meet people who love God. But individually, it is hard to say who does and who doesn't love Jesus. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to tell who loves and who does not? To be able to tell just by looking at them, how they dressed, how they spoke, etc. We could tell that it would be okay with them to talk about God to this couple on the trail because of how she was dressed. We had a wonderful conversation because we knew how to talk—about our love for God and His Son because we knew that they too loved Jesus. It was like they were old and familiar friends—friends of Jesus. We did not have to wonder, did not have to be concerned about our topic of conversation. They were "also helpful! They went back down the path to pick some mushrooms for us that they had seen. It was amazing how a simple Hi through a window led to—"your wife back in the car, was friendly". And how that led to a wonderful conversation on our Love for Jesus and what He has done for us.
 
And so, I started to wonder—Did we look like friends of Jesus to them? We had a hint about them, but could they tell that we too loved Jesus? God has asked us to be His peculiar people. What does that mean? Is it looks, actions, good deeds, beliefs, attitudes, character, ......?
I wonder if it would change my actions if I really understood and knew with every fiber of my heart that my acts reflect back on the character of my Heavenly Father. Would it make a difference in the long run? Do I, as a member of the church, living in these end of time days, recognize the importance of honesty in a larger context of the concept of the remnant?  "..........here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12 NKJV They stand out. They live what they say. They stick close to Jesus.
 
Years ago, it was a good game to see people on the TV and guess—could they be a Seventh-day Adventist? We thought we could tell by how they looked and were dressed. In today's world that has changed, and we no longer play that game. Think about the word genuine. Probably the first thing that comes to mind is—This must be the real thing. It's not fake or a facade. Think about belts. Perhaps you want a genuine leather belt. You do not want a fake one, a bonded or synthetic leather one. You know the genuine leather belt is better and would hold up to wear for much longer. Have you been caught in the scam of fake emails?  I have and then had to do damage control because I got involved in that fake scam email. I was given advice on how to tell  and avoid a scam fake email. So, how can you tell a genuine Christian? You might decide that a genuine Christian practices what the Bible says and one who lives his life the same in public as they do behind closed doors. Why is that so important? A big reason is that we are reflecting Jesus! Whether we know it or not, others are watching us to see if we live what we profess, what we preach. 
 
I want to live a genuine Christian life. Sadly, I often fall short. I am so glad that God is a gracious God and long-suffering who lets me start over again when I fail.
 
With God, we all can become genuine Christians!
 
We found treasure!

Related Information

Seeing God in Everyday Things