September 28, 2015

...the call of a life that is more real

“Here and there among men, there are those who pause in the hurried rush to listen to the call of a life that is more real… He who sees and hears too much is cursed for a dreamer, a fanatic, or a fool, by the mad mob who, having eyes, see not, ears and hear not, and refuse to understand… ”
Harold Bell Wright, The Shepherd of the Hills  

One of the things I enjoy most about traveling to different areas of the country is experiencing how life is lived across this beautiful country of ours.  One of the things that really stood out during our time in Branson was the deep faith and unabashed weaving of religion into daily life, including the tourist attractions and entertainment.  It was like being able to drink from a deep well of cool water--refreshing and life giving.  Taking time to pause and reflect on the gifts God gave us was a balm to the weary soul.

After we had unpacked at the cabin I went for a short hike, and discovered a small chapel right across from us!  The door was unlocked, and the small sign welcomed visitors to come in and take time to meditate or pray.  A truly unexpected discovery!

"…I never understood until the past months why the Master so often withdrew alone into the wilderness. There is not only food and medicine for one’s body; there is also healing for the heart and strength for the soul in nature. One gets very close to God…in these temples of God’s own building.”
Harold Bell Wright, The Shepherd of the Hills

The next day we toured the cabin site of Harold Bell Wright's famous novel, The Shepherd of the Hills.  This church, one that Wright preached in during his stay in the Ozarks, was saved from demolition and moved to Inspiration Point in 1991. This second highest point in Missouri boasts views that can extend all the way to the Boston Mountains in Northwest Arkansas on a clear day.  Pitching his tent on top of this mountain, with unparalleled views, Wright penned his notes for what would be come the second most widely read book in publishing history at the turn of the 20th century.

"while they read and talked together, there was opened before them the great book wherein God has written, in the language of mountain, and tree, and sky, and flower, and brook, the things that make truly wise those who pause to read.”
Harold Bell Wright, The Shepherd of the Hills

While on top of Inspiration Point, it seemed the appropriate time to both follow the scriptures AND inject a little adventure into our vacation...

"Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion" (Isaiah 40:9)

We took that verse to mean we might as well try our first zipline, since we had gone up the mountain!
It had never been on my "bucket list" but I was ready for a little zing in the day---and even managed to take a few pictures on the way down!

 Phil on the left...
 Livestock below...
and a last look back at the tower from whence we had started!

A couple of days later we visited the Ozark attraction Silver Dollar City, which my family first experienced way back when I was a young girl.  One of the first buildings I wanted to find was the Wilderness Church, whose view had so impressed me when I was a young girl.

The gorgeous view out the windows and the peace within the church was just as I had remembered.

Inscribed above the windows is a line from Psalm 121:

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

I felt refreshed and soul-satisfied after being able to spend time in the beautiful mountains and away from the crazy hustle and bustle of my daily life.  I will end this post with a final quote from Wright, and the wish that all of us may find time today to experience some of the beauty God has given us, right outside our front doors.

“We, who live in the cities, see but a little farther than across the street. We spend our days looking at the work of our own and our neighbors' hands. Small wonder our lives have so little of God in them, when we come in touch with so little that God has made.”
Harold Bell Wright, The Shepherd of the Hills 

No comments:

Post a Comment