“Peter said to
Jesus, 'Lord it is good for us to be here. If you wish I will put up
three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah'”
Matthew 17:4 (NIV).
Being part of the
inner circle has its perks, but on days like today I'd settle for the
chance to forgo the hike. James, John and I dropped to the ground.
Winded from the trek, it felt good to finally rest.
caught my attention. There's no one here but us. Who's that talking with Master?
I blinked, then
blinked again. The altitude must be playing tricks on me. Not one but
three shining individuals stood just feet away engrossed in
conversation. I squinted into the brilliant light and made out the
form of Jesus. The other two were strangers.
I inched closer and
strained to catch tidbits of their discussion. Moses! Elijah! Did I
hear correctly? Unbelievable!
excitement I blurted out, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If
you wish, I will put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses
Before I could
finished my sentence the atmosphere changed. Engulfed in an
iridescent cloud a thundering voice spoke. Seized with terror the
three of us hit the dirt.
“This is my Son,
whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” Matthew
Glamping! Ever heard of it?
The newly minted catchphrase is a
combination of glamor and camping. If an oxymoron can be a
contraction of two words, glamping fits the bill. No devotee of
roughing it, I'd need serious over-the-top luxurious accommodations
to coax me away from a comfy bed in a climate controlled environment
with cable or satellite TV. So, what constitutes glamping?
I first heard the term used in this
scenario. Synonymous for high priced, ocean front properties, not all
the residences in the Hamptons on Long Island, NY are McMansions. There are some normal
homes also. Situated on beach front property is a modular home
resort, a fancy name for an upscale trailer park! That's right, a
trailer park in the Hamptons, hard to believe but true. The photos
I've seen show a well kept facility. Some residents of the Hamptons
have found a way to cash in on their home's location and still enjoy
life by the beach. They sub-let their properties out for the season and glamp at the trailer park, I mean resort, and pocket a nice profit
to compensate for any inconveniences.
Simon Peter wanted to glamp before the
locals at the Hamptons thought it up. His version was glory
Can you blame him? A simple hike yielded an awesome spiritual
encounter with Jesus, Moses and Elijah. Who'd want to leave a
manifestation of glory like that?
Peter fell prey to the same snare the
church has been tripping over for – forever. God moves in an
unusual way. The assumption is made that this is it – the Holy
Grail of God's interaction with men. Things begin bumpy, the
forerunners and visionaries pay dearly for leading the charge. Those
who spear-headed the last move of God usually fight the hardest to
maintain the status quo. After all, in their estimation, they already
have God's Final Design. Eventually God's new plan gains wider
acceptance. By the time the majority adopt it God has moved
on and the cycle starts again. The last pioneers now become the new
Society today is more mobile than ever.
People move cross towns, countries and continents for a job,
retirement, education and so forth. When it comes to the things of
God – well, “Gimme that ole time religion!” is our mantra.
Something has to stay stable – doesn't it?
We're not pleasantly surprised when the
God who is supposed to never change jams a stick in the spokes of our
apple cart's wheels and upsets it. We can learn valuable lessons from
the Israelites' wilderness camping excursion. How would you like to
live out of a suitcase for forty years? At any moment the signal
sounds and you're on the move – again. Where you're headed and the
length of your journey is a mystery. How long you'll stay at the new
location is an unknown. God isn't telling.
As soon as the church as a whole gets a
grip on what God's doing and settles in for the long haul – it's too late. God's already packed His bags and moved on. It
takes a while before we realize He's left us behind. How should we
respond to His new direction? We can stay put, maybe even trash talk
this new thing we don't like or understand or we can adopt a more
inquisitive “what if” position. Instead of digging our heels in
the sand of our comfortable, indisputably correct posture we could be like the
Bereans. When faced with controversial issues, they endeavored to
prove these items right and not wrong. Who knows, maybe glamping isn't all
it's cracked up to be.
Photo - Google Images