View from the Ridge
From the earliest days of history man has been on a search of adventure, from the Vikings and Spaniards searching for the new world across an uncharted ocean to man walking on the moon and dreaming of seeing new worlds on other planets. The Old and New Testaments are full of stories of adventures of people and whole nations embarking on journeys to new lands. In each of our lives new adventures periodically show up in the form of a new job, new mate, new children or relocating to a new area. Sometimes it comes with health issues and challenges that make life difficult. But in every case, what ever the adventure may be, it causes us to stretch and grow to meet those challenges. I believe that it is God’s way of molding and shaping us to become the person that He wants us to be.
Several years ago they made a movie called “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”. If they made a movie about Jeri’s and my adventures they would have to call it “Mike & Jeri’s Adventures – Some Excellent, Some not so much”. But each one was God ordained and directed and accomplished its purpose – to mold and shape us into the people we are today. And apparently God is not finished with us, which is really good news because it means we will be around a while longer while he puts some finishing touches on us. Hopefully, just guessing.
The year 2010 was an adventure fighting cancer and putting all thoughts of the future on hold. 2011 was spent recuperating, regaining strength and saying goodbye to Dad. Last fall we started to venture into thinking about the future again because it appeared we just might have one after all. We had spent the last 14 or so winters in California, Mexico and Arizona, and while the winter weather there beats Eastern Oregon by far, it was still not what I was looking for.
The last two years, we have made three trips to Big Island of Hawaii, and two trips prior to that. It has finally dawned on me that there is the weather that I truly love. Lows in the high 60’s, Highs in the low to mid 80’s. I mean, really, can it get any better than that?
So Jeri and I started looking at the possibility of purchasing a home in the Kona area and began seeking God’s direction and will for our lives. At the same time we started a daily devotion by Pastor Rick Warren. It is a one year study on knowing God’s destiny for your life. The very first lesson – day one – was titled “Focus your Life”. The first paragraph reads “The next ten years can be the greatest of your life. They can become a Decade of Destiny, where your life is focused and, as a result, you’re able to make an impact in all you do.”
Excuse Me! A year ago I wasn’t sure I had another year, and now you want me to start thinking about the next 10 years? Well, as a matter of fact, that is exactly what God expects of us. Despite whatever health issues there may be, despite whatever age we happen to be, despite whatever financial issues we think there may be, God expects us to have goals and to plan ahead and to seek His will, looking for open and closed doors as He guides us to His perfect will, and watch as he performs miracles beyond our wildest dreams. This hit Jeri and I dead center where we were at in our lives.
So begins the next hopefully excellent adventure of Mike and Jeri as we begin the search for a house in the Kona area of the Big Island. This is day two, as we left Summerville yesterday and will fly out Friday the Sixth from Portland. It is not just about finding a house in Hawaii but also about finding a church that we can plug into and have a ministry. One thing that has bothered both of us during our winter sojourns is the constant visiting of various churches during the winter and not being able to be a part of one. We never found a place in Arizona that we really liked and wanted to spend the whole winter at.
Our goal is to spend 7 or 8 months in Hawaii and the other 4 or 5 months in Summerville and doing some summer traveling which we haven’t been able to do. Our neighbor has leased the farm ground and has an option to buy the whole place within the next 5 years, so this takes a lot of the work and worry off of us.
In the third chapter of Joshua, the priest carrying the Covenant Box was told to cross the Jordan River. They were told the river would stop flowing when they put their feet into the river. Not before, but after they took that first step. As soon as the priests stepped into the river, the water stopped flowing and piled up, far upstream at Adam, the city beside Aarethan. The flow downstream to the Dead Sea was completely cut off, and the people were able to cross over near Jericho.
While I don’t expect to see the Pacific Ocean part, God has opened many doors for us to take that first step onto an airplane to explore what possibilities lie ahead in the land of mangoes and guava, geckos and sea turtles, beautiful sunsets and -- oh, and by the way, a live volcano! That could make life exciting! Just guessing.