McDowell Technical Community College

that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both[a] which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.” -Ephesians 1:10

Photo of mountain graveyardAll I can remember was the journey, the trip back in time.

The farther we traveled, the more mountainous became the terrain until it was obvious we had reached a point high above the tree line. My guide was a younger man whose demeanor evoked a strength no mortal could match, yet, he carried himself in such a manner that I felt more than comfortable in his presence. His clothes were those of an ancient warrior, tunic across his broad, massive chest, with a leather strap around his waist that could have held a broadsword at one time. His hair was long and black blowing in the high-altitude winds lapping at his shoulders. If I didn’t know better, I could sense him being something more than human, something of a higher power, yet not willing to use that force unless called upon.

Photo of Torre PelliceI followed him past large dark foreboding boulders whose shadows gave me a chill and then onward past cliff faces where the depths beyond their fragile edges were bottomless blue vistas of certain death. Yet, as we traveled this pathway of terror, I did not fear for anything as he comforted me in a way his countenance embodied that of an angelic being. Effortlessly up the steep climb we hiked until we rounded a turn in the trail that came upon a cleared but hilly pasture. The ground was punctuated with objects strewn all around us. At a glance, I thought them to be large rocks. In this field stood a woman of later years, dressed as the warrior, in an ancient wardrobe unlike any I’d ever seen. Her age could not contain the inner beauty which shone through the physical years; yet when she spoke, her beauty was matched only by her wisdom. Although she evoked a loveliness, her face was shadowed from the sun so that I could never get a clear view; shrouded as if in secrecy.

My escort introduced me to her and then left us, vanishing before I could thank him for his efforts. The woman then began to explain to me why I was here and what it was we were to do. It was then I realized the rocky cleft of a field was littered not with rocks but with aged tombstones, all wrapped in cloth, as if ready to be shipped away. The lady then explained that we were transporting all of these back to where I had come from, to return them to the present; this was my mission. She explained that we would be loading each of the headstones into a trailer. Then she asked what seemed to me to be an odd question. She wanted to know if I thought we should use a closed trailer, sealed off from the air or if I thought an open trailer, one that could breathe and have air flow through it would be better; for some reason, I chose the latter, unbeknownst to me why. She smiled and agreed that I had chosen well.

There were others there, yet they never became bright enough to shine more than mere shadows. These beings helped us load the heavy stones into the tractor trailer, and when we had finished, I too climbed in. Before I departed in the trailer with the tombstones, the woman spoke to me and said, “You are the first to have come full circle; thus, you’ve been chosen as their escort back in time,” and with that, the trailer was off, flying. The clouds and sky shone below the wire mesh floor upon which I stood, speeding past as we flew. Above me, through the wire mesh ceiling, I could see more sky, filled with deep shades of Prussian blue dotted with the sparkling lights of distant stars. How long we flew and where or if we landed I don’t know.

I awoke and turned to look at the clock; too soon, too soon.

My life has become a passage in time where the clock becomes merely an observation, not a limitation. To understand it all, or to even attempt to grasp the reality from whence we have come to now is an attempt to grab the wisp of a cloud in the distant sunset; futile. The only thing that belies a steady keel of comfort is the Word and the truth therein.

As fall gently slips into winter, I sip from my mug the bitter, dark brew each morning by the light of the fire and embrace every sentence with reverent awe. Coming full circle in life at times with the voices of those gone on before is the sweetness for my drink.

These are my days as we walk down this new path. Every step another page in the journey.

My paradigm shift has brought me back to so many beginnings that only the recognition of God’s hand at work can fathom the innerworkings of this story.

Someday, when we are gathered around His throne, we’ll be able to understand the how and why. For now, we should not tarry but carry on, His mission for us is yet to be fulfilled.

These and many more blessings are just a few of the things for which we can be thankful this November.

And as always, Thanks, Be to God!