A few years ago I visited this little town in the mountains of West Virginia. The surrounding scenery is beautiful, everywhere I went I could hear birds singing happily. There were few cars, little modern-day clutter, and clear blue skies. As I was walking around, I saw this particular scene and had to get a picture; such apparent tranquility.
The whole place is tranquil now, but you can clearly see that these buildings have been there for quite some time as has the entire town. It has not always been so tranquil…
I took this picture only yards away from a place made famous by Thomas Jefferson who visited the area two centuries ago and wrote about it in a famous book, drawing visitors from as far away as Europe to see the magnificent view. Later the U.S. government built an arsenal here. In 1859 a man named John Brown led an assault on this town seeking to capture over 10,000 muskets to arm slaves to revolt against their masters, an attack which though it failed, so provoked passions that Civil War would soon follow. During that war, this town, Harper’s Ferry, was captured eight times with many thousands being killed in the process. Today it is a National Park.
It is certainly true that the town of Harper’s Ferry has a past, but then isn’t the same true for all of us?
Each of us also has a past, some of it is good, some of it may not be so good. The question is not what our past has been, but rather what the present and future look like. For any person in Christ, the past is forgiven and over with; it has been buried with Christ as the Bible says. Sadly, some of us still cling to the past; maybe it’s time for us to arise in newness of life as Harper’s Ferry has done. No matter how turbulent our lives have been in the past, we can, in Christ, arise to a new life filled with His glory, purpose and peace. We must learn from the past, and follow our Lord into the future each and every day of our lives, and if we do this then we too canl spend the rest of our earthly days in His peace.