Semester in Scotland – Just Through Sin’s Cloud

One month has passed now since arriving in Scotland. I have seen many places, met many people, and have abundantly experienced the graces of God. The last blog I wrote I used the terms “we” and “we’re” quite often for the purpose of speaking on behalf of my fellow classmates. I considered that over the past couple of weeks and decided that it is not all-together appropriate for me to do that lest I speak falsely on their experiences and perspectives. So, I intend to write this entry for the purpose of sharing my own endeavors and thoughts. I trust they will understand as they too will have the opportunity to share on their own experiences.

This first month has indeed been a special time of learning and growth. The four of us just finished reading our first book titled “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Faith.”  I can say for myself that this read was one of the most practical guides for living a Christian life. Each chapter covered a different discipline. They ranged from hearing and reading the Word of God to journaling and practicing silence and solitude. The title of each chapter started with whichever discipline was to be covered and followed with this line: “For the purpose of godliness.” Reading that simple line each chapter was a constant reminder that these disciplines are practiced not just for the sake of it, but for a great a purpose; to be more godly. A great read; humbling and purposeful

I recently had the privilege of spending time with some of my family who came over from the states for a holiday.  I spent 4 days or so up in Pitlochry watching the highland games, going for walks through town, attending a new church, playing cards, and golfing.  I don’t want to say it was a vacation, but in a sense, it was. The final day they were here, we spent the day in Edinburgh and caught a rally for the “Yes” campaign. This rally was for those who wish to see Scotland become a separate nation from the United Kingdom.  It was quite a neat experience, and these people were very passionate despite the voting not being for another year.

Yesterday (Wednesday) we had a day off.  No classes, no planned excursion; just a day off.  At least for Tim and Kelly it was a day off.  Chris and I decided to travel up to Northern Scotland near Fort William where we climbed Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom.  It was a humbling experience indeed for we did not anticipate it being TOO intense.  Today we are feeling the effects in our muscles.  Nevertheless, I am thankful we did it.

Ideally, the day to hike this mountain would be clear, sunny, and about 60 degrees F.  Not so for us.  While the temperature was actually quite nice, the clouds were thick and the fog was heavy. It was difficult to see past 20 yards in front of where we walked so we did our best to follow the path, and those in front of us. We made it to the top where our vision was even more restricted and the temperature was much lower. After taking a few photos I sat down on a rock near the path and began to write as I was reminded of something great. Though the mist and clouds were present, and the fog was thick, and I could not see much, I still knew the mountainside was just there, and that we were standing over an incredible view. So I thought, believers cannot yet see Christ, but still they know His presence. In that moment, though I could not see far, I knew there was a beautiful sight on the other side of the bog. Christian, do we have such faith that though we cannot see our King he is still present? When the persistence of temptation’s mist clears and the weight of sin’s cloud finally lifts we will see Christ in His glory. What joy we should have at this thought. We will soon be in the presence of the Almighty.

I thank the Lord for His continued grace.

Nate

Working on painting a Covenanter mounument.

Painting a Covenanter mounument.

Touring an open cast mine.

Touring an open cast mine.

Nate and Christopher at the top of Ben Nevis.

Nate and Christopher at the top of Ben Nevis.

Nate on the golf course.

Nate on the golf course.

Kelly, Tim, and Christopher at the seaside.

Kelly, Tim, and Christopher at the seaside.

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