Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Go to the End of the Road

“Go to the End of the Road”

For a Christmas present this past December I bought myself a TomTom GPS unit which Carol and I used on our recent trip to Hawaii. A number of the roads in Kauai and Maui are a dead end. Several times the GPS’s electronic voice would state, “Go the end of the road.” Or, “At the end of the road, you have reached your destination.”

A go to the end of the road moment was the road to Kauai’s Waimea Canyon. Mark Twain called it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. I would describe it as the Grand Canyon covered with moss.

Leaving the town of Waimea, you zigzag your way up a mountain. As you do, you have an ever-increasing panorama of the coastline of Kauai and the Pacific Ocean.

There are numerous places to pull over and take a look at what is behind you. Then... Choices: do we go on? Do we abandon the rest of the trip? Perhaps staying at the vista point. Or, making the decision to go back?

We came to a place, where there was a lookout—the main lookout. We got out trudged up the stairs, were blown away by what we saw. It was a “wow” moment. Waimea Canyon spread out before us! For more than a few minutes, we stood there drinking it in. God’s creation in full splendor.

Finally, we turned to walk back to our car. Walking down the steps, we passed a couple. The husband, obviously bored, trailed his wife. This was the last place he wanted to be. I smiled to myself, knowing what I’d just seen. He reached the summit of the stairs. He reached the summit and exclaimed, “Oh WOW!” I chuckled aloud.

Back in our car we drove to the end of the parking lot, where there was a sign: Kokee State Park to the right. Waimea left. We went right heading toward the end of the road.

We came to what seemed to be the end. There was a humble lodge, a museum, and a place to obtain a wilderness permit for hiking and camping and a lot of chickens! Feral chickens are everywhere in Kauai.

To my surprise, beyond the expansive grass area in front of the lodge was a single, pothole-filled lane of asphalt with a sign in Hawaiian: Kalalau Lookout. We took it, pulling over more than once to let those returning down from what was ever up there go by.

At the end of the road we came to a lookout with a view looking beyond the Waimea Canyon towards the ocean. Depending on where you stood, there was either sunshine, mist or full on ran. Such is Kauai. The debate was whether we would get out of the car. We did, and were ever glad. It was one of the greatest of “aha moments” of our trip to Hawaii.

Stretching out before us was a sloping valley flowing all the way to the ocean and above it was a full rainbow. It was worth the ride to the end of the road!
Isaiah writes in Isaiah 56:1—3, 6—7, “1This is what the LORD says, ‘Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. 2Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.’”

In other words, “Keep going to the end of the road! Keep doing what is right. You may be tempted to stop and campout at your present vista, maybe even turn back. But don’t do it. Go to the end of the road.

Here’s the payoff. Isaiah continues writing the words of God, “6 I will also bless the foreigners [Gentiles] who commit themselves to the Lord, who serve him and love his name, who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest, and who hold fast to my covenant. 7 I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer.”

When we follow to the end of the road, what is promised us is an AHA MOMENT like none we’ve ever thought or imagined! My friends keep going to the end of the road for he will bring us to the holy mountain and we will be filled with eternal joy!

Go to the end of the road!