This past week Lynn and I have had the honor to be with my father for a week's vacation together. It has been since high school since Dad and I had real time to see the world and vacations had literally almost gone away. We grew up modestly and vacations were far and few between, but when we had them, they were always so special to each of us. My parents wanted me to see new lands, new frontiers and dream of new horizons beyond anything I had known. What a blessing to see the frontier of South East Alaska with the man who means the world to us.
Growing up in the frontier of Oklahoma, I have close relatives who really understand the frontier, the land, property, cattle and survival. The heritage dates back to the land run of Oklahoma in 1889 where the native americans were wrongfully being gathered to share land on reservations. Many people "jumped the start" and were called SOONERS and they violated the law by trying to put their stake in the frontier as part of their own homestead. Our early forefathers were in the run and found land in South Central Oklahoma.
When we went into Alaska this week and were reminded that Russia had sold to the United States this incredible land for just 7 million dollars, I thought to myself, "Why would they sell all of Alaska for this minimal amount?" Some people today buy homes that cost that much. The answer was amazing. It seemed that the sea otters had the best skins for trading with the most hair in them during this time period. So when Russia had just about "mined" all the sea otters for where they thought all the value was, they were willing to depart with this incredible treasure, the state of Alaska. Can you imagine, selling millions of acres for pelts?
We place values on many areas of our lives and the frontiers which are before us are still vast, but land is now more a commodity than it has ever been. Location, location and location remains in my Dad's mind the rule the law of real estate and therefore sets a very real precedent for life, for the future and even for our liberty. We are moving into the celebration of our nation's freedom birthday once again and while I am excited about the future, there are also reasons to pray for our new frontiers. Our nation covets your prayers now more than ever.
God does have a plan for you and if you will stop, pray and listen to His voice, you may have the opportunity to see the future in ways you never dreamed possible. The frontier of knowing the unknown is in reality called, "faith". The evidence of things unseen is a powerful word isn't it? Yes, as you will remember from my testimony I have only had a very little faith, but what I have according to the Word of God, remains powerful.
This week, I realized one of my new frontiers is cultivating an even better relationship with my Dad. It's one thing to be habitual about staying in contact, but its a whole different level to have deep meaningful conversations about the future frontiers for your parent. Dad now is navigating a new journey of life without my mother who has been promoted to a heavenly home, but not in the wake of a mourning man who still loves his wife. He is learning to adjust and you know what, it isn't very easy.
So when you think of frontiers this week, don't just think of land and real estate, think of the mind, the intellectual land which has not yet been discovered. Take the time to know those closest to you, ask deep questions, feel free to be very provocative and get to know the "heart" of those you love. When the words LOVE THY NEIGHBOR spring forth, remember those were words of Jesus Himself.
Who would have ever thought a new frontier might involve love? Guess what, it does. Jesus himself before he was taken away to be killed said, "You all have two problems, you need to love God and love your neighbor more". Wow, these are powerful words when you consider all that he could have shared at his last meal with the men he loved the most.
What is the most difficult, is when people whom you love don't want to find out more, communicate or even go deeper with you personally, so what then? You keep loving, you keep praying, you keep believing and ask God to do something in you which makes you a better person. If you are a person who is NOT cultivating a relationship with your family, then start today. Don't wait for some magic moments, begin to invest in family, BOTH SIDES and just see what God has in store for you.
Maybe you have the greatest frontier of fear before you, and it is creating a prison inside the mind which can be freed when you lean in to Christ more, every single day. Fear can be such a horrible thing. Don't let fear rob, steal and destroy your spirit. God loves you. I love you and want you to have a life filled with joy and not fear.
I hope and pray this week, you will find a frontier, dream beyond the land and reach out for that horizon. Like a huge glacier you may find a world you never dreamed was just a few feet away from your love.
I love you,
Kevin McAfee is a filmmaker who writes for the purpose of inspiring others to make a difference in the world through faith in God and using the visual language of film. His blog shares the hopes of impacting culture, because his heart is in media missions and the church.