Monday, April 28, 2008

Alaska missions. The three of us in front of a glacier.

It was so good to be back with my girls again this weekend. It was a very quick trip with lots of driving, but a blessing to be together!

In the last six days, I drove over two thousand miles. Some people do this for a living. I don't. It wore me out. The drive to Hays, Ks. was very different from driving to Houston, Tx.

For one thing, I was alone for the trip to Hays. I had a lot of thinking time. I don't know how many of you have driven in Kansas, but it seems to stretch on forever. The landscape is fairly monotonous. There are times that it reminds you of films you may have seen of pioneer days when settlers were headed west, and encountered Indians.

Of course there are also the farms that are strewn about that seem to have significant sums of land. Land without a crop in sight. Livestock are about, but pale in comparison to the vast land expanses.

People in Kansas are proud. Billboards are found along the highway, boasting of how many families one farmer feeds, or how many homes, one oil man provides heat for. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that, elsewhere.

I spent time looking for Dorothy's home. I thought I might catch a glimpse of that Kansas farm...and Toto too? and Toto too! I never saw it. It was pretty run down in the movie anyway, so it wouldn't have mattered if I had seen it. It's probably been refurbished or torn down. Oh well, it gave me something to do.

As I headed west along I-70 between Salina and Hays, I came upon a sight that was so unusual it felt other-worldly. When it first appeared on the horizon, I wondered what I was seeing. As I drew nearer, I wondered at times if it was real, or if I had been in the car so long that I was hallucinating.

The tallest, gleaming white pillars I had ever seen, stretched to the sky and seem to attach the earth to the heavens. The closer I got, the taller they appeared.

Magnanimous, mythical, monoliths spread across the plains for miles. Each seemed to spire endlessly toward the heavens. In the lowly shadows below, stood rusting windmills, lacking the components that once generated electricity. A sad and broken reminder of days gone by.

These sparkling white replacements seemed to gleam with purity. The brilliance of the sunlight reflected off of each one. This area of Kansas seemed to be taken over by a modern day "war of the worlds."

I realized upon seeing these farms of wind catchers, that I had driven on more than one occasion beside semi's trailers, hauling a single blade of these incredible structures.

These were modern day windmills. If Don Quixote wanted to tilt at these, he would need a beryllium lance and Babe, Paul Bunyan's blue ox. Even then, he would only have been able to reach the southernmost tip of its descending rotation.

Each blade was three to four stories tall, alone. The height of the base unit was hard to measure in the vast expanse of open land, but appeared to press upwards of 10stories. Watching the blades turn in the wind was mesmerizing. Some stood silent.

I don't know how much it cost to erect one of these, but to have it stand at attention without revolution seemed a total waste. It was hauntingly eerie to see some not in motion.

Their size and assumed ability threatened a vacuum capable of usurping the very tractor trailers that had hauled them to their positions, off of the road from beside me.

My small mind is not capable of reasoning the amount of power these can generate, or where that power is stored or transferred to. It can however logically assume that when one of these is idle, it is costly.

Similarly, when we do not function as our Creator intended for us to, it comes at a price.

Our construction is far more complex than the engineering that went into these. A loving God put us together in such unique ways, that we have wondered for centuries how we were created. We offer mythical answers to this simple question. We try to prove scientifically something that happened supernaturally.

In our puny attempts to prove that what we cannot see could not exist, we erect structures that prove us wrong.

We may not stand as tall as we would like, or have the beauty we perceive in others, but we each have an intended serve and honor Him. If we do that, then others get to see Him too.

The brokenness of bygone days in the lives of those around us can be restored, and other worldliness comes out in them. That which our Creator planted deep within us can finally be cultivated. We are His, and we reflect Him. No other purpose can be greater than that!



At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you Brent, your insight is so real and the way the Lord is speaking through you is a living testament to your relationship with Him. This is just one of the vivid images that you (He) have (has) utilized to convict and draw us nearer to Him. Thank you.


At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love you

At 11:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Brent-
Thanks so much for your story and comments today. Oddly, I had an entirely different set of thoughts than yours as I pictured those vast, gleaming windmills you described. And far more sinister at that. I could not help but think about what the Tower of Babel must have looked like from a distance. Massive, stretching into the far reaches of the heavens. Shining gloriously from a distance. Inviting all to come and seek its protection. Protection provided by man of course, not God! But, to bring it into modern day terms is even more scary. The Christian church today seems to be intent on reinventing what it means to be a Christian. We build big gleaming churches, and try and fill them with "part-time" Christians. The emphasis seems to be on the emotional and entertainment value they can provide for people. A sense of security that it does not take our whole surrender of self to accept our Lord Jesus Christ. That His gift of salvation can be taken lightly. Traded only for our one day a week commitment to going and feeding our need for self-gratifying experiences. Those broken down windmills, representing the "old-time religion" that is no longer fashionable, being abandoned for a man-made flashy version. It seems to me that BJ had the old fashion kind. One that took all your heart, soul and mind. Not just based on emotion, but on the commitment of Truth; spreading God's Truth. I am by no means condemning all big churches or all individuals within them. It is simply an observation of a trend that seems to be taking over the Christian church in the free world culture. I pray we can all come back to a time when being a Christian meant a change of self. "By beholding we become changed." We cannot just be "part-time" for it would never do. We want to reflect Jesus in EVERY aspect of our lives.

Lisa Potter


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