"Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,
and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,
for our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:28-29
This particular weekend during my sophomore year of high school changed my view on a lot of things: bikes, rain, and Coca-Cola. My friend’s scout troop was going on a campout much different from any other we had attended. The objective was to conquer a 50-mile bike ride in one day down the Longleaf Trace in Hattiesburg, MS. Of course, being invincible teenage boys, my friends and I signed up without hesitation.
We arrived in Hattiesburg on a Friday night and camped. The following morning, we started bright and early (around 8:00 am) to start the ride. Our Scout leaders warned us and tried to prepare us by telling us what we needed to wear and pack, but we were all-knowing teenagers and didn’t heed their advice. The bike ride started off easy, but as we made our way into mile four, it started to rain. This wasn’t your typical rain shower, though—instead, it was an annoying mist that stung when it hit your skin… and continued for the entirety of the trip. After mile 15, we started to get hungry, and wished we had brought our rain jackets like we had been told. By mile 31 with no food, water, or raincoats, we were miserable! We wanted the journey to end quickly. It was too late to turn back now—our rides were waiting on us at the mile 50 outpost. At some point, each one of us had a semi-controlled teenage temper tantrum of frustration, hunger, and desire for dry clothes. In summary, the trip was horrible! We all boisterously whined—why had we decided to do this anyway?
BUT THEN, when we got to mile 50, I saw something that I will never forget. An effervescent glow through the mist, shining with beauty at the rest stop: a Coca-Cola vending machine! I purchased five Coca-Cola’s in a row. After the exorbitant purchase, my friends and I leaned up against the rest stop walls and silently drank. Glancing at each other, almost telepathically, we agreed that the Coca-Cola’s made the never ending journey worth it. To this day, it is the best Coca-Cola I have ever had.
Occasionally my friends and I still talk about how humorous that trip was and how the vending machine “saved our lives”. For the Christian, the adventure may not be something we are expecting—there are many dangers, many toils, many snares—but in the end, we have the greatest reward that cannot be shaken that is a whole lot better than a Coca-Cola vending machine! The reward is eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. As we start the New Year, I pray that we all strive for the reward found only in Jesus and nothing else, because with him, “nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.