The Thrill is Gone

Once I had an invitation to help a friend preach in a ski camp in the French Alps. It was tough but someone had to do it. I was Alice in Wonderland. We had actually lived in the Alps during our tenure in language school years before but that was different. it’s hard to enjoy beauty when you’re being tortured daily.

I’m not crazy about skiing because I’m very attached to all my bones and I only want to get them broken for worthwhile causes. So during our free time we walked, breathed (which is a joy when the air is so pure), and visited the region. There was a field for parachuting and skydiving nearby and we watched the French national skydiving team do things that seemed against the laws of gravity.

There’s something about the mountains that touches you in the deepest part of your being, as if being so near their roots brings you near a mystery of life. High up, the snow burned us with it’s frostiness. Deep shades of blue, green, white, and winter brown were laid out on in perfect proportions on the tableau.

The next year we went back again and though some of the thrill was gone, it was still powerful.

The last time I went, I didn’t even “feel” the mountains that much. I had problems and those visions crowded out the ice cream covered peaks.. The new had worn off. I remember thinking, “Boy if this doesn’t move you anymore something is wrong.”

I guess beauty and wonder reside in the heart of the person looking at the thing as much as it does in the thing itself. If I want to see beauty I need to have a state of heart and mind, that can see it.

Sometimes I have a flash and I remember how something moved me when I was child, back when I saw the thing for one of the first times. A sunrise whispering hope, the optimistic song of the mockingbird, the blue of the sky during a cold spell, the whisper of the wind in the pines when a cold November wind blows through—all this touches the deep wells of the person who can see it.

Every once in a while I still feel it, but the vision flees as quickly as it came. Maybe that’s what heaven will be like—we’ll be “stuck” on eternal newness. Can you imagine how it will be to experience a place like heaven for the first time and keep on experiencing it like that each day?

But God doesn’t expect us to wait for heaven to experience this newness. God’s blessings are “new” every morning.

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.
(Lam. 3:22-24 Message)

How can we experience this newness?
Get up and communicate with Him before the day gets started. Things aren’t new all day long. They are new in the “morning”. Most of us are particularly susceptible to ideas and creativity at the beginning of the day. There are exceptions. Maybe your “morning” is 9:30 at night when you’ve put the kids to bed.

But you need a time alone with the Lord each day, when you are susceptible to hear the “newness” of His voice. Otherwise your relationship with Him goes stale. Find a time and discipline yourself to consistently meet with Him by reading His word and praying.

You’ll be surprised how new things can be.

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