One of the most enjoyable aspects of doing evangelistic meetings and revivals is that one gets to see new places and experience new things. Mind you, some of those “new places and new things” have been roachy motels and meetings that made me ask “what in the world am I even doing here,” but most have been utterly amazing.

And such was the case last week when I found myself in Trenton, Georgia, just across the line from Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was a meeting at the Berean Baptist Church, to which I had never been. I found Pastor Garrett and his folks to be wonderfully hospitable, and the meeting was thoroughly enjoyable. And, as I have many good friends in that area, I had the opportunity on Tuesday afternoon to go see some of the sights with my buddy Gene, his son Blaine, and his nephew Britt. True to form, he had a unique few hours planned...

It began with lunch at The Mountain Mart in Sequatchie, Tennessee. For those who have never been, come prepared to eat first-class cheeseburgers, chase them down with huge slices of cheesecake, shop for some guns and ammo before you leave, and even have some gunsmithing services done while you are there. I am not aware of any other place quite like that on earth, and all of it comes with a generous helping of southern charm and hospitableness.

When lunch was over we made our way just a little ways down the road to Foster Falls. If there is anything I love more than a cheeseburger and ammo, it is sights in nature that almost seem to have God’s signature visible on the lower right corner like some impeccable masterpiece. And Foster Falls qualifies. I have seen hundreds of waterfalls in my lifetime, including the amazing Ruby Falls, but Foster Falls ranks right up there with the all-time greats.

The falls itself is sixty feet high, and the natural pool it lands in is huge. The sound is a majestic roar and is made all the more powerful by the huge horseshoe-shaped rock walls that it echoes off of. If my botanical skills are not off base, it seems that there are Mountain Laurel growing all around, and the trees by the edge of the water have roots that have crawled across fifty feet or more of solid rock to find ground to dig into.

My only regret for the day is that I did not know there was such an amazing swimming hole that I would be seeing, and therefore brought no extra clothes or towel. I told Dana that at this point, not going back and swimming under that falls is not an option; it simply cannot not be done. Yes, I know that is a double negative. No, I do not particularly care; a bit of grammatical extracurricular activity is warranted when describing such a natural treasure, I think.

And all of this spectacular beauty is in a fallen, sin-cursed world.

In Romans 8:22 Paul said, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” When man sinned in the garden, God cursed the earth itself, and earth began to lose its perfect luster. And that is, I suppose, what makes such still extant beauty all of these many millennia later such an awesome thing that leads to such a breathtaking thought: if it is this lovely now in rare spots, how fantastic was it when all of it was perfect, and how incomparable will it be when we once again see it in its perfect state?

That day is coming, and many descriptions of it are given in Scripture, including all of Isaiah chapter 35. And when that thousand-year Millennial Reign of Christ is done things will only get more impressive as God makes all of the heavens and the earth brand new for all eternity.

But we are not there yet. Where we are, currently, is in a world where the bleak and ugly holds sway in way too many places and the wild and beautiful has (often very necessarily) given way to concrete, asphalt, steel, and traffic. I know that we need factories and homes and transportation and commerce. But I also know that it is far too easy to get so immersed in all of that that our memories dim to the wonders of the wild, and we stop hearing the call of nature that nature’s Creator sends out to all of us. And I know that a walk in the woods or dangling your feet in a mountain stream or swimming in the beautiful pool created by a majestic waterfall is some of the best therapy I have personally ever found.

You there, person in that cubicle or bland office or other mundane, repetitive setting; gravity is still in effect, and water still flows downhill. The wind whistling through the trees still carries more peace on its undulating waves than a daytime talk show could ever hope to give you. God has given us many gifts, and some of his very best are found in the areas that man has thus far thankfully had the sense to leave as is.

Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Mooresboro, N.C. He is a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books. He can be reached by email at 2knowhim@cbc-web.org.

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