Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News
July 22, 2007
Walter Albritton


Some Sights and Scenes that Always Bring Me Joy


          There are unusual things to see in Zambia. Traffic stops sometimes on the highway so that several huge elephants can cross. Our bus stops at Banana Corner so we can buy dozens of bananas for a few bucks. We stop again to buy cheap copper trinkets; copper is plentiful in Zambia.

          We stare in amazement at beautiful Victoria Falls. The Falls are huge, unbelievable, and as magnificent as you might imagine from reading about them. I become weary trying to find the right words to describe what our eyes behold.

          The unforgettable sights and scenes of Zambia remind me of some thoughts I shared a long time ago about scenes I enjoy and would like to see again. I began with the story of a friend who walked with his wife into a little gift shop while on vacation in California. As they opened the door, causing a little bell to jingle, what they saw was breathtaking.

Before them was a large picture window looking out on the Pacific Ocean. It was a glorious sight. After a moment they noticed the woman who managed the shop sitting behind a desk with her back to the view.

My friend exclaimed, "You have your back to the most beautiful view in the world!"

"Oh," she replied without excitement, "I've already seen it."

She went on to explain that she lived ten miles south of town and drove along the ocean road every day. "I've seen it so often," she said, "that I never bother to look at it anymore."

While I can understand how she came to feel that way, I got to thinking about how important it is not to lose one's fascination with beautiful things. So I decided to make a list of beautiful scenes that I want to see again and again as long as I live.

You might find it fun to make your own list after reading mine. But I have an idea that some of my favorite scenes will be on your list since we are all so much alike.

A full moon on a crisp fall night is quite magnificent, especially if you are viewing it while holding hands with someone you love. My wife loves to get the jump on me by being the first to notice the full moon. That's when I pretend not to care, saying in jest, "Oh, I've seen it before." But she knows I'm kidding. Then we enjoy its beauty together.

Not everyone shares my appreciation of a lovely sunrise. "Night" people prefer sunsets. I enjoy both, but my preference is the sunrise. There is something wonderful about the morning light "breaking" as the darkness is overcome by the gentle coming of the dawn.

Hunters know what I am talking about. A beautiful sunrise is sometimes the best reward for rising early to hunt for turkeys, deer, or doves. When you have been blessed by the sight of a glorious sunrise, you never go home empty-handed. That's when you realize that there are some things even better than getting the limit in game.

We enjoy Gulf Shores twice a year, when the weather is cool. The young can have the beach in the hot summertime. We prefer it in November and February. (When we bought the time share, that was all we could afford; then we discovered it was the best time of the year!)

Watching the waves roll in on a lazy day at the beach is a delightful scene. Some people may enjoy a longer drive to Florida but Alabama's southern shores are precious to me. Plus, we can enjoy more seafood with the travel money we save in not going so far from home.

One scene that I long to see over and over is that of a packed house at church. If you want to see my grin widen, just watch me when I look out at the congregation and notice some dear soul trying to find an empty seat. Oh the joy of such a scene! My heart starts pounding and I begin praying, "Thank you, Lord! Let me see this sight again before you call me home!"

Even more beautiful is the sight of a couple kneeling together at the altar, holding hands, and offering themselves to the Lord so that his plan can be fulfilled in their lives. To see anyone saying "Yes" to God is simply majestic and a scene I never tire of beholding.>

Few scenes are more heartening than that of one of my own children coming up to hug me even though we may not have been apart but a few days. As the years roll on, we realize that we never know when we are hugging our dear ones for the last time. So each time becomes more precious.

Just as precious is the sight of one of my grandchildren –or my great grandchildren – running up to me, grinning, and saying gleefully, "Hey, Grampa!" That is a scene which will never lose its great excitement and joy for me. And, hey, now I have the joy of having a great grandchild jump into my arms to embrace me sometimes. How blessed can one old grandfather get!

But I leave for last the most beautiful scene of all for me -- that of my wife holding me in her arms and squeezing me for a long time. It doesn't get any better than that, especially when she has just forgiven me for the umpteenth time for doing or saying something stupid.

I hope my list will stimulate you to reflect for a moment about beautiful scenes in your own life -- scenes which you too want to see again and again as long as you live. Enjoy! + + +