Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Postcards (08/29/05)
TITLE: Postcards from the Past
By Brad Paulson
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Feeling a bit nosy, I couldn’t help but remove a few cards to see what people had written. Aside from the usual pleasantries and greetings, every writer had made an effort to describe the feeling one has when in the presence of such a beautiful place as Glacier. It was the experience that people tried to pass on, not simply what it looked like. “Can you believe that I actually stood at the base of this glacier?” and, “I wish you could have been here with me,” were some of the notes I read. It became very apparent to me that the common denominator for all of the cards was, “I saw something spectacular, I was there, and I hope that through my experience you will develop a desire to experience this place the way I have.” The postcards, beautiful as they were, were not meant to be a substitute for the real thing. The intention was not to satisfy an appetite, it was to ignite one. These images and messages were not meant to simply document history, each one cried out, “I was there!”
Later that evening, I found myself reading from the Gospels. The message was the same. “Can you believe I was actually there? I was with Him, and I want you to know Him.” The writers wanted desperately for all of us to experience what they had the privilege of witnessing first hand. Not merely reading their words as a historical document, or trying to figure out why they did what they did or didn’t do. Their words represent an experience so powerful, that they were willing to give up their lives to make sure that you and I knew about it. Their hope was not to inform us, but to transform us.
In this busy world of impossible schedules and a multitude of responsibilities, it is easy to dismiss a postcard. A quick glance at the picture, speed read the note, and toss it in a drawer. That however, is never the intention of the sender. I know there are times when our personal Bible studies can be just as hurried. Try to dwell on the passion that first brought the ink to the paper. When we experience that passion, we experience the power of God’s word.
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