We closed our family's cabin in Prescott this last Spring. The fifty year lease with the church camp had expired in 2002 and even though the camp had extended the lease to run for the lifetime of my parents, as a gesture of appreciation for my family's involvement in the camp, we decided to end it and yield the property back to the camp. It was a difficult and emotional day for me... closing the door and walking away from a place that had been such a Large part of my life, so many happy memories of so many happy hours and days spent with loved ones here. People don't last forever. Neither do places, it turns out. The two are related and connected. People and places come together thru the purpose of men and of God for some good. They grow and prosper and abide together for a while... for an age, for a generation, and then they dissolve into time. The people die, the places wither and dry up, and God grows new people and places and plants them somewhere else. He's the real gardener. We are just the garden. This little cabin was such a place. It was a garden in my life. My grandfather built it in 1952. It became a haven for my family. My brother and sister and I roamed the pine woods nearby and spent idyllic summers there with my grand-parents. My grandmother cooked on the wood stove in the kitchen before there was natural gas for cooking in later years. We ate many meals together, shared many days of bliss there. The memories are forever. The memories are the only part that will last, forever I believe. We will take them with us, when we leave this world and are reborn into the new life that the Lord has prepared for us. I don't know what heaven will look like, but I suspect that somewhere in a quiet, remote corner a little dirt road will wind thru the Ponderosa pines, dipping and rising thru the woods, until a humble little cabin will be revealed, nestled in the granite boulders and oak trees. It will be shiny and new... made new, just for us. That's my hope. Hope is a large part of living. Without hope it isn't possible to Live very Large, is it? I know that we can't go back, in time and space. We are always going forward in this life. Life is linear. We are stuck in the present, only able to look behind us and see the recent past, which quickly dims and fades away. When we turn around and look forward we can't see what's coming next.... too foggy up ahead. We have to use our Faith to look forward... Trust and Obey. We have to let the Lord lead us forward, like children clinging to the hand of a parent, as we walk thru dangerous traffic.
But God is Large enough to take us back someday. He can take us back to the happiest times and the happiest places, with the people that we loved and lost. We will all be together again someday. That's my prayer today. Take me back, Lord. Take me back.
Take me back to days that I loved.
To places and times that I recall.
To guitar picking, cool evening breezes,
To Indian Summers and Desert Fall.
Take me back to a ditch of cool water,
Wandering by the old iron wood trees.
To campfires, and ghost stories, and crickets in hollows,
And the sight of a hawk soaring high and free.
Take me back to the rock house, and a lonely windmill.
To the yellow bloom of Palo Verde’s,
Saguaros, standing like sentinels still.
Take me back to a sunset bold,
Flaming billows of crimson and gold.
To a night sky, heavens’ bright sky,
Celestial lamps twinkling, young and old.
Take me back to the smell of the rain,
As it clings to the grease wood, pungent and sweet.
My mind cannot smell, or hear, or feel.
Only my memory serves to reveal,
But all of the beauty my senses meet.
Take me back to that humble cabin,
Nestled fair in the granite and oaks.
To a world like Pans’,
At dusk in the pines, and kick the can!
Building forts, and fighting wars,
In secret places that were mine and yours.
Take me back to voices past,
Speaking softly as I lay in bed,
Telling me that all is well.
The pillow soft against my head.
Take me back.
Take me back.
Take me back.