The sign read "The Falls." The sign was a green exit sign. It wasn't the first green exit sign I had seen on my trip but it was most definitely the one I had been waiting for.
I was on a mission trip with my wife (Alicia), our friend (Anna), and 10 TEENAGERS. We were in the beautiful land of Ontario, Canada. Today was a "rest/fun" day and we had been traveling 5 hours in order to see the splendor of Niagara Falls. And in case you were wondering, 5 hours driving in a 15 passenger van is not overly restful or fun.
I took the exit and immediately was welcomed with signs saying Starbucks, Ripley's Believe It Or Not, Hard Rock Cafe and other truly Canadian things. It's amazing the influence the states has on life outside of the states.
As we drove, we noticed something out the windows and to our left. We heard a constant but distinct noise - a white noise. We saw water flowing down through rocks and smashing into the water below. We saw mist. We smelled fish.
It was of course the Niagara falls.
We found a spot to park and $22 later we got out of the van to eat a sack lunch. We gobbled up the lunch, visited the port-a-potties, and we were on our way.
You could see the water flowing above the falls. Flowing down rocks, forming waves, crashing and splashing. That water had no idea what would come next. At a rate of 34 million gallons/minute that water would spill over a cliff and crash below.
The force in which it fell those 100+ feet caused such a large mist! The sidewalks and everyone on them were covered in water. The water at the base of the falls was so rough that you would have thought a storm was moving through.
I stood and stared at the falls for a long time. It was beautiful. So much water. So cool to see. Thanks Canada. I continued to watch and noticed tour boats. I watched these boats get really close to where the water was coming down and wondered if any had ever been stuck there. What happens if they lose power? Had anyone ever fallen off one of those boats? My mind continued to wander in this direction for a few more minutes.
You see, amidst the beauty were these thoughts of chaos, fear and death. At the base of the falls was very tumultuous water. There was swirling water and many white caps. You fall in and you probably don't come back out. It was pretty. But it was chaotic.
I was looking at postcards in the gift shop later and there were some beautiful pictures of the falls. The falls looked so peaceful! There was no hint of chaos in them. Just the beauty that God had created.
This brings me to the purpose of why I write today. Sometimes life feels chaotic and your mind starts to wander. Can I do this? Am I good enough? I don't know what to do! This makes no sense! Where is God in all of this?
Here's a thought: Life is chaotic because that's what you CHOOSE to see.
Now let me explain.
Try this: place your hand over your eyes so that your hand actually touches your face. Go ahead and do it for a few seconds and them come back.
What did you see? Your hand of course.
Could you see much else? Probably not.
Try this: stretch out your arm and look at your hand. You can see the hand, but you see everything else around you as well. It was simple. All you had to do was get a new perspective. The hand is still there, but you can see the whole picture now - not just your hand.
I think we do this in life. I think life is chaotic because that's what we choose to see. We need a new perspective. Take a step back and put things into perspective. Is everything really chaotic or are a few things chaotic right now? What's going good? What is stable in my life?
When you step back from the falls you see a peaceful picture. You see a beautiful creation that points to the Creator.
If you step back from whatever it is that you are facing right now, you will see a beautiful life that points to the Creator.