Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Sightseeing (08/08/05)
TITLE: Sightseeing on the Kingís Highway
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‚ÄúAh, Dad. Just a few more minutes, please,‚ÄĚ the oldest pleaded.
‚ÄúNo way, Jose.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúBut Dad, it‚Äôs 4 o‚Äôclock in the morning!‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúDon‚Äôt ‚Äėbut Dad‚Äô me,‚ÄĚ he swiftly answered. The conversation that followed included that day‚Äôs sightseeing itinerary and a pep talk.
For as long as we can remember, our Dad had wanted to bless us like he had been blessed by his parents who had taken him on a trip to Sacrifice Hill (Kentucky‚Äôs version of Jerusalem‚Äôs Golgotha). He often had recapitulated to us his enthralling and awe-inspiring moments on the Hill, as he had called it, hoping that we would see, vicariously, what he had seen. Many times he had spoken of a craggy skull-like formation near the Hill‚Äôs peak where a pair of sunken holes had become the skull‚Äôs eyes. He had told us of how the simple beauty and serene ambiance of the rock-hewn Garden Tomb had compelled him, a six-foot-five, muscular man, to drop to his knees in meditation and prayer.
Since he last visited the Hill, years of human neglect have produced thick, thorny, barbed-like bushes that have made this place inaccessible by foot. People no longer are able to make the narrow pathway ascent. Instead, they could opt for helicopter rides over Sacrifice Hill, but landing atop the rocky Hill was a ‚Äúno go.‚ÄĚ
From time-to-time, we are reminded of Dad‚Äôs repeated statement whenever we think about his Sacrifice Hill narrations. He always had believed that an aerial view could never be an adequate substitute for an up close and personal observation. He would say, ‚ÄúIn my humble opinion, climbing Sacrifice Hill and experiencing every portion of the Hill during the journey is the only way that anyone can thoroughly enjoy the rich incarnate splendor that the Hill personifies.‚ÄĚ
Since a Kentucky high school math teacher could not afford to take his family of six to the Holy Land, Kentucky‚Äôs own King‚Äôs Highway with its renowned five adaptations of ancient Judean sites was the next best thing. It wasn‚Äôt until much later in life, though, that we would thank him profusely and articulate to him the sheer delight we felt the day he took us sightseeing on King‚Äôs Highway.
It has been twenty years since that early morning wake-up call, but we often have spoken about that day with the fondest memories. In hindsight, we fully have comprehended what Dad had wanted to accomplish back then. He had wanted us to know what it meant for us to be children of the Heavenly Father. He had wanted our sightseeing trip to aid us in our discovery. He had wanted us to have our own mountaintop enlightenment, so to speak, that we could recount again and again to our own offspring.
As he had purposed, we spent the entire last day of our sightseeing trip on a stop-and-go drive up the King‚Äôs Highway. Dad, though, had saved the best site for last‚ÄĒthe Temple of Heaven Complex.
The major temple complex attraction was a crossed-shaped building called the Hall of Prayer, consisting of outer, inner, and holiest of holy courts. The hall was inordinately decorated with bronze columns, white marble walls, Lebanese-cedar ceilings, and gold-plated wood. In the Holy of Holies there was an impressive golden Ark of the Covenant with two Cherubim on the Mercy Seat. Equally impressive were the Ten Commandment Tablets that were inside the Ark. We, Dad‚Äôs four children, were edified and dazzled by every thing we witnessed there, and we left the Hall of Prayer thankful to our Dad and our God for providing such an illuminating King‚Äôs Highway blessing.
We had our mountaintop enlightenment that day. Since then, like our Dad has done with Sacrifice Hill, we have described our Temple of Heaven breathtaking experiences numerous times to our own children. We have agreed that we, too, want to bless our children like we were blessed, so we have planned for our children to have their own up close and personal observation opportunities of both the Temple of Heaven Complex and the Holy Land.
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