Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Niagra Falls

on our way back over the border from Canada into the States (see photo recap here), we chose to take a little detour in order to see Niagara Falls.  it was close to midnight, and it was very cold and dark,  so actually seeing the falls proved difficult.  the mist from the falls chilled the air and the moisture seemed to seep into my skin.  even by Montana standards, the weather outside was frightful! 

if you haven't been to the falls before, it's definitely worth the trip.  the power of the falls themselves is overwhelming, almost impossible to describe.  i think because the experience is not just in the seeing, but in the feeling. what you physically feel in your body when you are that close to that much power. we parked a little ways away, as, since it was so dark, we couldn't really see where the falls were, at first.   we walked along the path that followed the Niagara River and in the moonlight the water seemed to flow along gently and unhurried.  and then, the mood of the water changed. it began to churn and swirl.  rush and push.                          

i initially stood a safe distance away from the railing, yet i still felt a drop in my stomach and a rise in my heart rate.  i ventured a few steps closer and as i did i held my breath.  i found myself right on the edge of the falls. still behind the railing, of course, but directly above the point at which the water RUSHES over the edge, dropping a whopping 170+ feet!  though it was dark, the white caps of the water were visible and the sound almost deafening!   i allowed myself a {brief} moment of imagining something...someone...going over the edge.  i shuddered. 

later that night, as i finally checked into a hotel and began to unwind, i considered what i'd seen and felt.  i was reminded of 2 Peter 1:3-11...

 "By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

just like the Niagara River ambles slowly along for miles before the water crashes down into what seems like oblivion, our lives and our journey allow time for contemplation. for thought. for choices.  we don't just fall into sin and stupidness without some warning.  1 Corinthians 10:13 says that God will not allow the temptation to be more than we can stand.  he'll provide a way out. he'll give warnings, cautions, signals. don't ignore them! falling away, over the edge, giving in, is a choice.  temptation is something common to all of us. none of us are exempt from the wiles, schemes and scams of the enemy. the sons and daughters of holy men have fallen.  the mothers and fathers of so-called saints have fallen. don't get so comfortable in the flow of life that you aren't aware of the falls.  take the time now to grow in the knowledge of our God and apply the precious promises he provides so that when you should see the falls approaching, you'll be of the right mind to jump, flee, run, take the way out.

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