Growing up in New England means growing up surrounded with history. The town where I grew up was home to Atlantic Union College (the oldest Adventist school operating in the original buildings), the Village Church (the oldest church build by Adventists for Adventists), the Rowlandson Garrison, and happened to be the oldest town in the county. Lexington and Concord (where the Revolutionary War began) was about 30 minutes from my house. Where I live now, the first Sabbath keeping Adventist church is in my church's district.
The wealth of the heritage in my area is quite impressive. But I have ceased to be impressed. It is all commonplace. I see it all the time.
Some friends came out east last spring and we went on a history tour. AUC, the Village Church, Lexington, Concord and the Washington Church were all on the list of "to-sees". Watching their reactions to these historic places was eye opening. They saw everything with wide-open eyes, drinking in the places and the stories of the people who made them famous. The youngest daughter was so enthralled that she was imagining the "swarthy Indian who was stealthily sneaking through these very woods!"
Their enthusiasm was contagious. I found myself taking a second look at the things in my figurative backyard, and realizing that they are indeed something to take note of.
Today, on my way home from a conference, I was looking through some of the pictures of the tour last spring. A new thought struck me:
Many of us have grown up with the Adventist message. We've read the Bible front to back many times and have portions of it memorized. We are in great danger of loosing our enthusiasm for God and His ways. We must always be taking a second look, remembering Him and His leading. We have nothing to fear for the future, even, or maybe especially, falling into that sense of familiarity that leads to contempt, except we forget how God has lead in the past.