Me, Peter,  and a Canyon

If you’re wondering…

This isn’t the start of a joke. At least not in the normal sense. But it does have all the ingredients of one. Three characters, a set-up, the punch line, and a lot of laughter.

What makes something funny?

I guess it’s funny because people laugh at it. – Garrison Keillor (A Prairie Home Companion)

Wise words from a now retired man.

I laughed earlier this week because I highlighted all the times a dog reference was made in An Extremely Goofy Movie. Get it? Their all dogs! Although jury is out on the official for the triathlon. If I lost you my apologies. My parents, and God, decided to have me born in the early 90’s. I miss the 80’s…

Regardless, I sense you have a strong desire to never hang out with someone who makes dog “jokes” and takes pictures with minions (that’s Peter in the picture by the way). But my roommate still laughed each of the 8 (or 10) times I said “Get it?”. At least my roommate thinks I’m funny,  and my mom.

See, two type of people make dog jokes and take pictures with minions: 5 year olds and me. So how do you tell the difference between these two categories? Some tell me facial hair, others are still researching, most don’t even ask the question.

If you’re waiting for the punch line,  you passed it already. It was the picture at the top. If you’re waiting for the set-up here it is: In my 24th year after birth, I dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, took a stuffed minion named Peter and ascended a precipice called Angels Landing in Zion Canyon National Park. Me, Peter, 19 friends, and many more strangers, climbed 1500 feet (457.2 meters for you non Americans) to look down the beautiful canyon. It is easily one of my favorite hikes. It has adventure written all up and down the massive cliffs you slice through on the ridge of a narrow slab of rock. This was my third time to the top and I was hoping to finally see an angel. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any this time or at least no one said they were an angel. But then would you believe it!

We hung out, ate lunch, took this picture, and descended. I told you the punch line was the picture. Nothing mind blowing happened. Did you laugh? Was it funny? Is that the point? Well yes… and no.

I have been told I love minions and that is why this picture is now the profile picture on my Facebook (feel free to tell me when that started). But now I want you to enter this joke. What have you been told to love? What do you want to put as your profile picture? Your job? Your School? Your current family? Your future family? Scooby-Doo? Peach milkshakes from Chick-fil-a? Jesus?

We are each raised up from being a 5 year old to being an adult. It’s complicated and it is messy. Things hurt. Sticks and stones will brake your bones,  but words will destroy you. What have you been told to love? As the autumn time has reminded us with peach milkshakes leaving and pumpkin spice lattes coming, your favorite drink is constantly changing. And likely many other things are too.

So why grow up and mature if everything is always changing and we have to start a new frequently? God would even tell us…

Behold I make all things new- Revelation 21:5

But the reason comes in the context, which is the new heaven and new earth. That is what we have to look forward to: everything being restored and made a new. So I love minions the same as any other five year old, but I thank God that my view of them has grown up from yellow balls of entertainment to reminders to seek joy and contentment in Christ. I start to have the slightest glimmer of how God will change what I think is good and lovely and fun to what is Holy and set apart for His glory. Love for Him cannot be simply told to you and then you love Him. You must get your elbows dirty and place Him first so that whether it be minions, canyons, or _______, you are constantly changing to be more and more like Him. Constantly ask yourself before the Holy and Living God, am I being renewed by the transformation of my mind in You or am I being conformed to the pleasures of this world?

Then go enjoy a pumpkin spice latte or watch minions or go on a hike,  but do it with an eternally grateful heart to the One who sacrificed His life for you so we might be able to partake in His Kingdom when He restores all things and makes them new.

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