Cheryl and I love to mountain bike to our favorite place of solitude – the overlook on the East side of the New River Gorge Bridge, Fayetteville, WV. Lord willing, we’ll be at this earthly cathedral in May when we celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary. I say cathedral because it stirs our hearts to worship a really big God. Here’s why:
1. Our hearts were made to be overwhelmed with something outside of us. If you want to kill your soul, just sit in front of our modern ME REFLECTORS, “mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-whose-the-fairest-of-them-all” magazines at the check out lines.
2. Our hearts were made to be overwhelmed with something bigger than us. If you want to kill your soul, just sit in front of the tv too much. By the way, try looking at porn while sitting on this mammoth-size cliff looking nearly 900 ft down. If you want a good tool for defeating indwelling sin, get outside and sit in awe of God’s creation.
3. Our hearts were made to be overwhelmed with complexity without trying to figure it out. If you want to kill your soul, get excited over how many “likes” you got today.
4. Our hearts were made to be known by the one who designed this beauty. We instinctively desire to be identified by the Creator the way an adopted child or an orphan instinctively desires to be identified and known by his or her biological mom and dad. If you want to kill your soul, believe that there is no one out there who made you and can’t be known.
5. Our hearts were made to worship. This is why we love the outdoors. Creation is whispering the language of God (Psalm 19). Those who deny this have to work over-time in their hearts to silence this unrelenting truth (Rom. 1:18-23). If you want to kill your soul, be more infatuated with who’s ahead in “Dancing With The Stars” than who made stars.
6. Our hearts were made to rest in the finished work of another. To sit and enjoy the skill, craftsmanship, artistry, poetry, engineering feat [like this bridge], culinary focus, and musical aptitude of a fellow human speaks an imperative into our lives: “STOP working so hard at developing and producing and performing, and for once in your life sit down and enjoy what I have done for you.” If you want to kill your soul, just keep working without resting and trusting in the work of another.
7. Our hearts were made to enjoy Christ Crucified in our place. Looking out over this gorge is pure unsatisfied delight. And that’s the point: Creation evokes an inner delight that is insufficient to satisfy us – we want more. We want to know who is behind this, who could possibly be this wonderful to make such beauty with breath-taking view. Why is this here? – why am I here to see this? Did Someone Special do something to rescue me from worshiping creation over the Creator? Did Someone Special come and rescue me from my phobia of death and loneliness? Did Someone Special come and suffer the consequence of my hatred and selfish ways? If you want to kill your soul, enjoy creation but never allow your soul to long for who is behind it all and what was done to give you everlasting joy.