Monday, June 14, 2010

rock solid or rocky path

This weekend we visited an uncle of mine who lives near the Pocono mountains of eastern Pennsylvania.  I had never driven through this area, and was struck with the beauty of the rolling green terrain and the mountain ridges that loomed in the background.  He lives in an old mining town (Bangor) that is full of quaint Victorian mostly dilapidated, and a downtown with a main street named Broadway.  Broadway is lined with old bank buildings, a library and memorial statues that attest to an earlier time of prosperity, that now is past.  It turns out that Bangor had its prime about 100 years ago when the slate industry was booming.  When roofs were more commonly made of slate and school blackboards were still
"black" there were several companies pulling slate rock from the ground in the area.  A few thousand immigrants from Wales and Italy came over, built new lives..raised families...and established a new life nestled in the valley of the slate filled hills all around.   Bangor, itself, was named for a slate mining town in Wales.  It must have seemed that life would always go on, as it had for a few generations, in Bangor.  Nice jobs...prosperity for the working man...They were building their lives on a basic building material that was solid as a rock and they probably thought that they were as secure and strong as the slate was durable.  But times changed and new products made roofing from cheaper materials possible on a wide scale.  Even blackboards were made from new materials and were eventually replaced with "white boards" and I'm sure that put a dent in the chalk industry as well.  Now the streets of Bangor bare testimony to an earlier time.  People still live in the old homes and find ways to make a living...but the prosperity has moved to other places.
I think that, as Christians, we sometimes think that life will always go on as it has.  But change is a great reality in the spiritual history of people.  One day we may look around and find that we are in a far different place than we started...everything that is familiar may be changed.  It is vital that we form a trust relationship with God because He is the one constant during times of "sameness" and times of change.  While all about is in a process of change, He alone is unchanging.
Hebrews 6: 17Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.
Rob Smith

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