WITHOUT HOLINESS NO ONE WILL SEE the Lord… Hebrews 12:14
Wisconsin. The handiwork of the Lord is seen there, ask anyone, (just not those who lack an earnest appreciation of snow). The seasons unravel in a regal tapestry of perfection. My personal favorite, winter. Something about the way that fluffy winter tumbles down in drifting cascades of silver and the way it seems never ending as it is fueled perpetually by the enormity of Lake Michigan…Well, there are simply…No. Words.
I could tell of all of the enchantment of blustery cold snow blowing in heaps all about, creating a spectacular fortress of winter that goes untold in the South….however, that would be unfair to my new Southern friends.
Fall would leave you breathless as you wondered through walls of burnt orange leaves and trekked through hills of autumn landscape in air so crisp you wondered what you had been breathing all summer.
And as lovely as it all is…there is a place that is beautiful whatever the season.
And…no my friends, it is not Greendale (oh, but you were close)….
The place: The House on the Rock. For those of you who do not know or have not had the great privilege of exploring there, it is simply amazing. You will have to Google it for the backstory.
Within this enormous, ongoing house there is a room built high over the edge of a cliff. Known affectionately as the Infinity Room for the way in which it seems to go on forever. The room is literally suspended out over this cliff and runs down headlong into a sharp point. Pictures fail to capture the heart pounding feeling you get as you step out to the furthest point in the room, for out at the end you can sense that you are not in control. As a matter of fact, your trust is completely in the structure, and yet as the gusty winds blow, the structure shakes and quivers. Once towards the end, you develop the keenest awareness that without the proper support, you are essentially hanging over a cliff.
Entering the room you notice that the width of the room is quite wide and you do not even seem to notice the danger of the distance between you and the ground. Confidence in your footing are the order at this point, as you know you are walking sure footed. Go along a bit further and you notice that the room is getting a bit more narrow. It also becomes quite obvious that less people are willing to take the journey any further as the room is exposed to the elements and you begin to hear the howl of the wind beating on the side of the house. This is the place along the walls of the room where benches are placed for those who are hesitant to go any further. Those who begin to lose their nerve, debate whether or not they want to go any further. After all, it is starting to get shaky.
And so it is with our Christian walk. God has been pressing it into my heart that His path is holiness and that His word is true…without Holiness, no one will see God. As we start out in our walk the path seems pretty comfortably wide, there are plenty of others who are joining us and no one seems too bothered by what lies ahead. Then, all of the sudden a downdraft blows and the path seems a bit more risky. You see that walking further is going to require something, you are going to have to keep your eyes ahead and lay down all the weight that hinders you. This is where some break off from the path and take a seat on the bench. Unwilling to go any further because things are growing uncomfortable.
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Further up the path, the width for our feet gets more narrow and narrower still. It is because if we are to see the end, what we are believing for, there will be some shaking involved… yet we know that God is the hand, the structure that holds us firm even in the midst of the shaking.
His path leads to infinity and beyond because He is eternal….and some of the most spectacular views are those from the vantage point of realizing that we are not the ones in control…our trust and reliance is soley on Him.
At the end of the Infinity room, it seems as though you can see out forever….and it is true…we will stand in eternity one day…the question is….
What will be our view?
“Since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be destroyed, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a consuming fire.” –Hebrews 12:28-29
Carousel Inside the House On the Rock….