A couple of days ago, I needed to get away and detox my soul. I did not know where I was going when I first started to drive. I finally ended up at a local lake. I parked my truck and walked down to the water's edge. The water was low. Our region is experiencing the beginning of a drought. After a few minutes, I came across a section of an old roadway that is normally submerged when the lake is full. It was part of old Highway 99 that was the major north-south roadway along the west coast from the early 1900s until the freeway system came into existence in the 1950s. The old road was submerged when Emigrant Lake was created, and north-south traffic began to travel on Interstate 5.
As I stood on the crumbling section of asphalt seen in the photo, I realized I was standing on a section of a road traveled by my parents and Jan’s parents when they were newlyweds. It was a road filled with personal history. I could hear their laughter and conversations as they sat next to each other in a classic old car en route to some new destination. The evidence of that history only appeared when things got dry, and water was low.
We are in a dry time and low watermark in our culture. Each of us needs to get away from time-to-time to recalibrate. This away time is not ignoring our painful realities. It is a dedicated time that offers the Lord a chance to walk with us under the highwater mark of our experience. That walk will reveal that none of the dysfunction we now see and hear in our culture is new. It is the same old road our ancestors traveled. God is revealing once again, what time and dismissal has hidden. The only constant in all of the painful revelations of recent date is the brokenness of the human heart. Hearts and history can only be changed by an encounter with Jesus Christ. The best of our laws and intentions cannot bring about that kind of change.
Peaceful protests and laws guaranteeing and affirming individual freedoms are all part of a healthy culture. We should aspire to such things, but when all is said and done, and the water gets deep once again, nothing will have changed. While much of what is currently being done to raise awareness and institute change has merit, a new road forward is only found in Christ. An encounter with the risen Lord is the only hope for our world no matter how deep or shallow the cultural waters might become.
As I walked back to my truck, I sensed a renewed hope that God has a plan for our nation, a plan only experienced in a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.