A Few Hours in Heaven

We’d been traveling north on California Mtn Hwy 99 for over an hour. The road was tagged “mountain highway” for good reason. Pavement twisted mercilessly through peaks and ravines, alongside harrowing precipices and around blind curves. Our car tossed back and forth like a yacht in a gale warning; my family all turning various shades of green. Whose idea was it to pave this route, anyway?

As time passed, we began to wonder if this trip was worthwhile – or if we were even on the right road. There were no signs, no other cars… and our cell service had unnervingly disappeared 15 miles ago.

Finally a faded, lonely sign appeared: Trail of 100 Giants – 7 mi. ahead.

That’s it! That’s what we’d been waiting for! And soon we arrived at the trailhead in this remote section of Sequoia National Park. We stumbled out of the car, still commiserating about the road just traveled. But our twisted journey was completely forgotten as we passed through the entrance, coming face-to-face with the first great Sequoia tree. Words can’t describe… 60+ feet in circumference and 245 feet tall. No brochure could have ever prepared us for magnificence of this gentle giant. And we were just getting started.

The next few hours were a high point on our family trip out west. Strolling through this grove was an other-worldly experience. Perhaps the most surprising treat: a thick, natural fragrance that offered a unique sweetness with every breath. The “land of milk and honey” came to mind, and I thought, this must be what heaven smells like!

As we neared the end of the trail, I found myself slowing down… lingering at each point of interest. I didn’t want this to end. I didn’t want to leave this majestic location or heavenly aura. And I thought about the whole experience in an eternal sense.

Our lives may feel like a twisting road right now – a roller coaster of ups, downs, and frightening, unexpected turns. At times we may even question if we’re heading in the right direction. We yearn for the Lord’s guidance as we press on towards our ultimate destination: that moment when we finally arrive at the gates of Heaven. All the trials of this world will quickly be forgotten. No words or thoughts can possibly prepare us for the magnificence of coming face-to-face with our Lord Jesus. We’ll never look back, never long for earthly things. And best of all, we’ll just be getting started…

1 Corinthians 2:9 – No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.

– Ron Reid