There could not be a more perfect place to watch the sun set on a cool autumn evening. With a hot cup of coffee in one hand and the other wrapped in the hand of your best friend we sat staring at the horizon as our kids skipped stones across the water…wondering why we had ever left this place.
We’ve been gone from the Copper Country, Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, for 12 years now and still at times miss it terribly. Years pass by…you change and the people around you change and sometimes there is no other choice but to move on…and sometimes that means you move away. Move away from the place that centers your soul and defines who you and prepares you for who you will be. Sometimes you have to move away from home. We still go back when we can and when we do we camp at the best place in all of Michigan (maybe all of the world) 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. Full of smaller, quieter moments much like the finishing strokes on an artist’s masterpiece. I remember conversations about big things and whispers about nothing. I remember teaching Bible lessons to eager learners and learning my own life lessons in the process. I remember walking the length of the park with good friends as we played frisbee golf before disc golf was a thing. 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 have walked the trails, camped in the campground, waded in the waves, hunted for agates, watched the northern lights dance over Lake Superior…and seen countless sunsets. I lived a life at McLain’s…and it was 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 a big, busy, wild, dangerous, and wonderous and it is easy to get caught up in and swept away by it all…far away from the truth that we know and the hope that we believe in. The truth that 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 but we cannot quite comprehend as mere flesh and bone…and we long for that home…
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