Over the summer, we took a mini family vacation.
But, before I go into all those details, might I add that today is the first official day of Fall. However, temperatures will be hovering in the mid to upper 90's here in Middle Tennessee this week. I'm certain that if Satan can't keep us from Heaven, then he's determined to bring Hell on Earth. And, well, these temps are proof as to why I'm Heaven bound! Just kidding. Just laugh. It's Monday. We good? Great, let's go!
So, this mini family vacation took place over the long July 4th holiday weekend.
We drove northward to the beautiful state of Kentucky! We went there to visit the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum. However, now that I know there is a Wayfair Outlet, in the middle of nowhere Kentucky, I plan on going back; care to join?
Both exhibits were top notch and there is plenty to do for the whole family. I will say, my kids were a little too young to appreciate the Creation Museum. It was highly informative with lots of reading along the way. The highlight of that location was the 3D "movie", camel riding, and the play area. Oh, and Kona Ice to take the edge off of the sweltering southern heat. P.S. Don't go to Kentucky in July; go to a Florida beach.
The Ark Encounter was unbelievable! If the next few words in this post don't convince you that you need to run not walk to this attraction than you clearly aren't in the right headspace to read this blog today. It's Monday, I get it. Perhaps try back on Tuesday then?
I was left in awe and wonder, and, if you asked the rest of my crew, they would probably tell you the same thing. Maybe leave my four year old out of the questioning.
When you go, be sure to buy your tickets in advance or you will be standing in line, 2 by 2, with the masses. And, if you are as fortunate as my family, you may encounter a crazy European. I might save those details for a separate blog post!
Moving forward, you will board a commercial grade bus that will transport you to the location of the Ark. If you care to wait to be WOW'd until you are standing face to face with the Ark than perhaps you need to stick your head between your legs for the duration of the bus ride. The ride is not that long but the anticipation builds the closer you get. I compare the encounter to that of Clark Griswold lighting up his house for Christmas, except in this case the lights turn on at first glance. It's breathtaking.
In fact, as I neared the ark, I got a little choked up. I couldn't help myself as I recounted the story of Noah in my head. Noah's story is significant to me in many ways. For starters, the last few years Bear has been on a "Noah Story" kick, and he absolutely loves watching Evan Almighty (I know. I know. It's not an accurate depiction of the story). He has been enamored with the Biblical story for quite some time now so it was such a joy to see his face light up as this story became a little more real to him despite the absence of rain. Noah means rest and for those of you who know our story there's just so much about Noah's obedience that resonates with me.
There we stood, face to face with THE ARK (I preface it that way because this is the replica of what Noah built all those years ago). The designers and builders of the Ark Encounter built it according to the exact measurements listed in the Bible--top to bottom, inside and out. So, as I stood before this massive boat and all that it represented I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with emotion.
I went from being choked up to carrying crocodile tears in my eye sockets as I imagined in my mind the dialogue between God and Noah.
Noah: you want me to do what, God?
God: build an ark 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high.
Noah: Ummm....God perhaps you have the wrong man for the job? I'm old, fragile, and not as strong as I use to be.
God: You, my son, have proven to be faithful with the little.therefore I can trust you with the big task at hand. And, don't forget, I am with you! I'm not setting you up to fail, but rather to save and deliver you and your family and the generations that will come after you!
If you are like me, you basically need a translator because math is not your strong suit and you have no idea what "cubits" even mean. Let me break it down in Google terms where perhaps you may have a better idea of what this looks like in your head--510 feet long and more than 50 feet high from the ground. Do you see it? Unreal. I know. Nearly one and a half football fields long and higher than a modern four story house.
So, as I stood there with said crocodile tears now running down my cheeks, I heard the gentle whispers of God begin to rain down on me...
God: Daughter, I'm not asking you to build another Ark. Just keep your ears open and your eyes looking to me for what I'm doing. You will have to put in the work, no doubt, but I'll open doors that no man can open and I'll shut every door that's not from me. Just stay the course, don't look to the left or right just keep your gaze set on Me.
Me: You got it, God, but it sure feels like an Ark to me. I don't feel qualified or capable.
God: Noah wasn't qualified, he was just obedient and faithful. I supplied him and his family with everything they needed when they needed it. They just faithfully began working, taking breaks when needed, but they always came back to cutting and hammering away for the next (roughly) 75 years to complete the task I assigned to him.
Me (in complete hysteria): ok God.
I really wish we would have gotten more of the dialogue between God and Noah in the ancient text. It would have been nice to have known for certain that Noah's humanness reared it's ugly head and that he wrestled with God over this monumental build. Am I right?
Do you feel like you are standing face to face with an Ark in your own life? You know God's called you to tackle that thing and yet you feel so inadequate to get the job done. You are sweating at just the thought of putting your hands on the hatchet. I feel ya.
I'm incredibly thankful that I don't have to go about this alone and while my humanness may get the best of me today, it won't tomorrow, and God knows it. He waits patiently while I'm on break, and the minute I open the door to come out of the break room, He awaits me with open arms. He's not breathing down my neck or pointing his finger at me saying the clocks ticking. He gently nudges me, giving me his best wink, and positions me back into proper alignment with my Ark.
He's doing the same for you, too! So whatever that giant boat may look like in your life just start chipping away today; don't worry about tomorrow. And the best news o
f all, He finishes what He starts, and if He saw you as the best fit for the job, then you will get to see the fruit of your labor, friend. Place your hands back on your hatchet and finish that thing. Don't you know completing your task isn't just for you but potentially for the saving of many? The gentle whispers of God will always speak louder than the shouts of the enemy! Remember that, and get busy my friend!