Friday, August 12, 2005

I Lost My Knife...A Camping Parable

I lost my knife. One summer our family and close friends went camping on the high slopes of California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. My friend and I took all of our kids fishing at a pond only a short hike from our campsite. After no success, it started to get late and Gregg was urging me to pack up and bring the kids with me. I, however, was busy untangling miles of twisted fishing line and retying lures. As I rushed to answer Gregg’s beckoning, my 9-year-old daughter said, “Dad, don’t forget your knife.” I finished cutting, tying, packing, rounded up the children, and met Gregg on the other side of the bridge. About ten minutes later, the sun was down and we strolled along in the twilight back to camp. As my hand brushed past the pocket of my KMart Clearance shorts, something felt different. My knife! I left it sticking in the top of a stump and it was too late to go back and get it. So, I made a plan. It’s a good knife and I really like it, so I planned to get up with the sun and hurry down the trail to get it before any one might see it there and take it. The next morning, I awoke freezing cold -- my cue to get up because the sun would soon be up. I quickly dressed and started out. As I bounded over a small stream about five minutes into my twenty-minute hike, something inside my head said, “Slow down, take in the scenery.“ “I’ve seen it before and I’m in a hurry,” I retorted. Then I glanced to the left and noticed how the morning sun, now brightly gleaming, was transforming the reeds along the creek into liquid gold. “But, you haven’t seen it in this light,” came the Creator’s subtle reply. I walked the rest of the trail slowly and gasped at many a beautiful vista along the way. As the stream became a pond, my trail broke into a clearing. About a quarter mile away, I saw a silver glint in the newly risen sun. I found my prized possession.

Jesus said that the kingdom of God belongs to such as these (children). Why is it that small children never tire of repetition? Could it be they understand the value in seeing something old in a new light?


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