Voices of Faith: The optimistic explorer

Medical waiting rooms provide interesting encounters. Hurting and sometimes fearful people are prime prospects for encouraging words and are often receptive to invitations to faith. Occasionally, there’s even a memorable article in one of the magazines provided for impatient patients that makes the wait worthwhile.

Such was the case not long ago when, awaiting my turn for a routine physical, the intriguing account of Lewis and Clark’s epic explorations caught my eye and then my attention. The scenery, the descriptions of hair raising adventures, and the mystery of history made this wait worthwhile, but one statement by Captain Clark towered above all the rest.

Upon reading Clark’s comment, I quickly scribbled it on a subscription card in Smithsonian Magazine lest it slip away before I could share it with others. Here’s the scene and substance of Clark’s statement that has life changing potential; maybe for you today:

Captain Clark and company have reached the Rocky Mountains and are headed for the Pacific Ocean. A painting shows him captivated by the beauty before him. Suddenly, however, he is distracted from the beauty of the moment by thoughts about the difficulties and hardships this tough terrain may present to him and his companions as they carry out their mission. Injuries and even death loom.

Then, moving his mood from fear to faith, Clark says, “As I have always held it a little short of criminality to anticipate evils, I will allow it to be a good and comfortable road until I am compelled to believe otherwise,” a wise decision, since he lived another thirty

three successful years, achieved many goals and died of natural causes.

We are all explorers, looking everyday for new discoveries. Sometimes these explorations lead us into dangerous places and new challenges, but there is no need to fear if our faith is in the One who knows the future.

Looking out my upstairs office window at this time of the year, I see a panorama of

beauty. Fall has arrived in all its splendor: crisp autumn air seems to brighten the blue above, making a dramatic backdrop for trees whose leaves have erupted in kaleidoscopic colors; Canada Geese and their more diminutive but no less organized cousins frolic in a flurry of activity preparing for their own impressive and expansive expeditions, demonstrating God’s design in His creation and His love for us. But if, like Captain Clark, I allow myself to focus on fear instead of faith I will immediately lose the blessings of all this beauty.

God hasn’t promised blue skies every day. We may experience emotional and physical pain, face conflicts with disagreeable people and receive unwanted bills in the mail, but none of these things can separate us from the love of God.

As C.S. Lewis wrote, “The great thing…both as regards pain and financial worries is to live day to day and hour to hour not adding the past or the future to the present.”

Faith enables us to be triumphant in trouble (1 John 5:4). There may be dangerous mountains to cross, but knowing that faith moves mountains (Matthew 17:20) makes optimistic explorers of us all.

Roger Campbell was an author, a broadcaster and columnist who was a pastor for 22 years. A new book containing over one hundred of his best columns, “Everywhere You Go There’s a Zacchaeus Up a Tree,” is now available at your local or online bookseller. Contact us at rcministry@ameritech.net.

More in Life

A copy of “The Race Beat: the Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation” sits on a desk in the Peninsula Clarion office on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: The civil rights movement as told by journalists

The book is an extensive look at how coverage of the American civil rights movement changed public opinion

Mark Jurek directs the Soldotna High School Band at a rehearsal on Oct. 11, 2022, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Jazz, swing and cheesecake

SoHi brings back annual band and choir fundraiser

The cast of Triumvirate Theatre’s production of “Seussical” rehearse on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, in the Renee C. Henderson Auditorium at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Seuss on stage

Triumvirate’s “Seussical the Musical” brings to life familiar literary characters

Shells and cheese are served. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Mac and cheese for make-believe

Indulging childhood memories with this favorite

This artwork, as well as the story that accompanied it in the October 1953 issue of Master Detective magazine, sensationalized and fictionalized an actual murder in Anchorage in 1919. The terrified woman in the image is supposed to represent Marie Lavor.
A nexus of lives and lies: The William Dempsey story — Part 1

William Dempsey and two other men slipped away from the rest of the prison road gang on fog-enshrouded McNeil Island, Washington, on Jan. 30, 1940

Minister’s Message: Reorienting yourself to pray throughout the day

No doubt, one of the most remarkable gifts God gives to communicate with his creation is the gift of prayer

The Christ Lutheran Church is seen on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Musicians bring ‘golden age of guitar’ to Performing Arts Society

Armin Abdihodžic and Thomas Tallant to play concert Saturday

Storm Reid plays June Allen in “Missing,” a screenlife film that takes place entirely on the screens of multiple devices, including a laptop and an iPhone. (Photo courtesy Sony Pictures)
On The Screen: ‘Missing’ is twisty, modern, great

I knew “Missing” was something special early on

Puff pastry desserts are sprinkled with sugar. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Puff pastry made simple

I often shop at thrift stores. Mostly for cost, but also out… Continue reading

Most Read