Jan and I live in the historic mining town of Jacksonville, Oregon. We enjoy living in Jacksonville and southern Oregon. After so many years of travel and various ministry assignments we finally found our place. Shortly after moving to Jacksonville in 2002, I discovered some of my relatives were on the first Applegate Wagon Train that passed through our valley in the fall of 1846. I have discovered relatives buried in the historic cemetery above our town.
As you can imagine, we have some building codes in place to protect our history. Many of the historic homes in Jacksonville have placards placed on them noting the date they were constructed and the names of the families who first owned them. As you walk through town you can see these placards and relive their history in your imagination.
As a joke, I found a bronze plaque that reads, “On this site in 1897 nothing happened.” I bought it and attached it to the outside wall near our front door as a spoof. Our house is not historic. It was moved here in 1948 from the original Camp White military base that was active in the Medford area during World War II.
The plaque has become a challenge to me. Each time I step up on our front porch to enter our home, I look at the plaque. It carries a humorous reminder of a deeper issue. I ask myself, what have I allowed God to do on the site of my life today? Did I trust Him for something? Did I speak in love when I wasn’t feeling very loving? Did I contend for a miracle when a miracle seemed impossible? It would be a tragedy if the words on the plaque of my life and yours had nothing to say.
The most important thing you and I will do today is to have an encounter with God. These encounters can come by simply recognizing His presence. Forgiving someone. Choosing to believe in the midst of fear, despair and overwhelming odds. When these encounters come they will rewrite the plaque of our history that will someday be posted on each of our lives. I want our historic plaques to tell the story of lives lived to the fullest because they had a daily encounter with the Living God.