Last week Ray and I spent a fabulous day with our son and one of our grandsons at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. I confess to being a bit apprehensive beforehand. I love God’s Creation, but I am not a big fan of dinosaurs and I don’t enjoy places where I am surrounded by scientific theories that are presented as truth.
I was pleasantly surprised. We didn’t come close to getting through the entire museum. I can tell by the names of exhibits that we didn’t go in that we could have seen much information that I would not have agreed with; but by careful choosing, we had a great day.
I have two things I want to share with you today. First, I want to describe a few things we enjoyed. I hope that my description of what we chose to do will give you some ideas for maneuvering through a similar museum in your area. Then, I want to tell you a story about one of my challenges that day.
The Reflections of Culture exhibit at Fernbank was particularly tasteful, respectful, and beautiful. It includes objects that reflect beliefs and customs around the world. We did a quick run-through. I want to go back and spend more time.
We had a great time in the crowded Fantastic Forces exhibit with its fantastic hands-on experiments. Another highlight for Ray and me was seeing the special giant-screen version of Apollo 11: First Steps. It was a moving experience for me to relive that historic event, sitting between our son and grandson and looking over our grandson’s shoulder to share special moments with Ray. Ray and I both had tears in our eyes when it was over.
The largest exhibit at Fernbank is outside, where we enjoyed their new 75-acre outdoor adventure area in the heart of the giant city of Atlanta. The area includes the WildWoods and the Fernbank Forest. We didn’t have time for Fernbank Forest, but the WildWoods was great. A portion of this 75 acres was once a formal garden. I was glad to see that the museum left this garden entrance and its cross intact.
A portion of the WildWoods has a play space designed for 9 to 13 year olds. No sign said that we 7, 40, 65, and 67 year olds couldn’t play, too, so we did. Our grandson likes his Little (that’s I) to play whatever he plays, so after he crawled through this rope tunnel, . . .
. . . he wanted me to try it, too. I had just crossed a rope bridge of similar construction, so I knew a bit of the challenge. I stood looking inside one end of that long rope tunnel and imagined how the ropes would feel on my knees and how hard it would be to crawl over them on my hands and knees. But I wanted to say yes to our grandson, so I dove in.
Well, I didn’t exactly dive. I sat down, leaned back, and scooted until I got a few feet from the other side. Then I crawled uphill the rest of the way. See?
I know it looks easy. It wasn’t. But it was fun.
My challenge was a little one, but it reminds me of an encouragement Ray gave us on Sunday morning. He encouraged us to follow Jesus in the hardest struggle we are in right now. That encouraged me. Let’s all think about what we feel is the most challenging area of our lives right now and ask God to show us how to follow Jesus in that struggle.
For you have been called for this purpose,
since Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps . . . .
1 Peter 2:21