There could not be a more perfect place to watch the sun set on a cool evening with a hot cup of coffee in one hand and the other laced through the fingers of the love of your life. There we sat staring at the sun setting on the horizon as our kids skipped stones across the water in evening silhouette, wondering why we had ever left this place.
We’ve been gone from the Copper Country, Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, for ten years now and still at times miss it terribly. Time keeps moving on, you change and the people around you change and sometimes there is no other choice but to move on with it and sometimes that means you move away. We still get back when we can and when we do we camp at the best place in all of Michigan to watch the sun set: McLain State Park.
This park is full of memories for us. Full of monumental events that shaped the very core of who we are as a couple and a family, and smaller, quieter moments much like the finishing strokes on an artist’s masterpiece. I remember deep conversations about big things and whispers about nothing. I remember teaching Bible lessons to eager learners and learning life lessons in the process. I remember walking the length of the park with good friends as we played disc golf. I remember each of us taking turns with our toddlers on our shoulders or walking hand-in-hand beside them as they discovered new things and learned to love this park as we do. I remember tears, and laughter, joy and pain. I remember life at McLain’s…and it is a good one.
I suspect that many of you have such a place that means as much to you. Maybe a house, a hometown, or a city that centers you and tells you who you are and where you came from – and, more importantly, where you can go back to when you need reminding. The world we live in is big, busy, wild, and wondrous and it is easy to get caught up in and swept away by it all…far away from the truth that we know and this hope that we believe in: Heaven is a real place and we are but sojourners here in this world. I believe those places that we call special here are glimmers of that real place that our spirits recognize…and long for.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26