God has built us to grasp His reality through glimpses of
His magnificence in creation and in the grace He pours out in our lives.
I was 11, my father had returned from a year in Viet Nam and flown the family to go camping on St. John’s. The night of our arrival, we walked the beach
by moonlight, the waves lapping our ankles.
I thought I’d gone to heaven.
I was 13, hiking in the Wind River
mountains and after catching golden trout at Wall lake, we got stuck at 14,000
feet in a thunderstorm. We hid under a
bush as lightning struck all around.
Terrified and dazzled simultaneously, I thought, “I’m so young to be
faced with death now.”
At 17, on my first mission trip to Guatemala, the color and creativity of the
Indian market coupled with the stately beauty of Lake Atitlan’s
volcanoes overwhelmed my senses.
At 20, I fell in love with Karen, lost her to another man, then got her back. Our courtship during our last two years of college was magical and transporting.
At 21, I flew to Thailand to help with the refugee crisis and smacked into an exotic land that overloaded my senses: Buddhist temples, floating markets, and royal palaces. And no one ever prepared me for the sensory assault of Thai food.
At 22, driving to Honduras
from Virginia in a yellow Vega, I turned a
corner in the road to Veracruz
and was amazed by a vista of an azure ocean on my left, mountains in the
distance, and the air around suddenly and magically filled with
Later that same year, the day after we were married, sitting
in our hotel room, the possibilities of the life Karen and I were to share
together seemed limitless. Later, as we
flew to our new home in Indonesia,
we knew we were embarked on a great adventure with our soul-mate for life.
Since beginning to walk more closely with God at age 31 or so, these kind of incredible soul-tingling moments seem to happen more regularly. It’s what happens when you encounter the Almighty up close and personal. It’s what happens when you minister hope to those who are desperate for it and watch them see God for the first time.
Too many of us settle for the mundane. What are the transcendent moments in your life?