We decided to head to Natural Bridge on Monday for some family time together. Since Bill and I had been out of town this past week-end we wanted to reconnect with the kids. So we canceled school and decided to have a fall break this week. Reason #237 why we love homeschooling: family comes first. We hadn't had a break except for 2 days around Labor Day week-end so we were due.
We packed the people mover: picnic lunch? check. kids? 1-2-3-4, check. tracts? check. And we were off! The day was perfect; crisp fall air, only an occasional cloud in the sky, and beauty all around.
After we arrived, we decided to take the sky lift to the top and hike back down. Yes, here it's called a sky lift and not a ski lift because well, you can't ski down these hills. My youngest daughter wanted to drop the first tract. We found a large car in the parking lot and plopped it. Because it is a beautiful area I'm very judicious where I drop tracts. I would never drop one on the trail or where we were hiking. Others may, but I won't. But areas where there is a great liklihood that they'll be seen are fair game.
We went to the gift shop and dropped another wallet near some merchandise. It's a very small gift shop and very cramped so we didn't stay long. We purchased our lift tickets and headed up.
Since I knew we were going to Natural Bridge I did a little research before I went. I was looking for a good conversation starter. I found it! On average, 2 people per year die by falling off the bridge. Most are alcohol related deaths. OK. This is a good segue when witnessing to people. Where better to swing from the natural to the supernatural, than Natural Bridge? :)
The kids enjoyed visiting the bridge again. They hadn't been in so long that some of them were only babies when we last visited and didn't really remember it.
We hiked on over to the ridge across from Natural Bridge and I was able to talk to my first person. He and his girlfriend were sitting just enjoying the view. I found out he was from the same city we were and just enjoying one of the last days before the park closed. I asked him where he went to church. When he told me, I tried not to cringe. I know it is a very popular church in my city but not very theologically or Biblically sound.
I don't know why I didn't get his name. That's one of the first things I usually do. After finding where we were from I said, "You know, I was reading that on average 2 people per year fall to their deaths from this bridge. Kinda makes you think, huh?"
He agreed it did. I asked him if he knew where he would go when he died. He said he wasn't really sure. I said, "Do you believe in God?" He said, "Oh, yes. I'm a Christian." I said, "But, you just said you didn't know where you would go when you died." He said, "Oh, I'll go to heaven." Um, OK I'm really confused now.
I said, "Are you sure? You sounded a little confused." He laughed. He assured me he was a Christian. I asked him to tell me how to have eternal life if I had a knife in my back and 3 minutes to live. He said, Confess your sins, repent, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." Good answer but, I still wasn't convinced.
I asked, "Do you read your Bible every day?" He said, "No, not really." Shocked, I asked, "Why not?" He said, "Well, I go to a Christian University and we get the Bible all the time. We get it all day long."
I said, "I have a question for you. If you were hungry, would you be able to fill your stomach by just smelling someone else's food?" He said he would not. I encouraged him to not smell the aroma of other people's food and expect to get his belly filled. There is no nutrition in the aroma. He said he understood what I was saying and said he enjoyed me sharing with him.
We went back down the trail past the sky lift operator. He was listening to some heavy metal group named Kill Switch Engaged. Bill couldn't speak with him earlier because he was doing his job. But, Bill quickly looked down the hill to make sure people weren't coming up the chair lift so he could talk uninterrupted. He took him through the whole message. People were coming up the chair lift so he had to get back to work As we walked away, he was still reading it.
We hiked back down and then went to the lodge at the state park. And then it happened...something I've never seen before...a Gospel tract placed by someone else!
I picked it up and read it to make sure it was biblically sound. If it was just going to tell people to ask Jesus into their heart because he had a wonderful plan for their lives because he wanted to fill the God-shaped hole in their hearts and wanted to put their picture on his refrigerator in heaven, I was going to take it and put an honest one out. But, thank goodness it was sound so I let it stay.