By Betty Predmore
Another vacation is in the books, and what a splendid time it was. I thank God for the wonderful opportunities He has given me to experience so many “firsts” with my family. I will never forget the first time my children got a glimpse of the awesome Half Dome at Yosemite, the magnificent and breathtaking Grand Canyon, the wonder of driving through the Sequoias, the sunset over Morro Rock, or the spectacular sight of Niagara Falls. These “firsts” can never be duplicated, and are not to be soon forgotten, Perhaps less spectacular, but equally special, would be their first airplane ride, their first boating and tubing trip, their first experience of fishing off the dock at Sandy Pond, New York, their first trip to Kentucky horse stables, or their first visit to Nashville. Still more firsts that we will treasure include the first time we camped in a tent, went to the beach, waded through creeks, and caught lightening bugs in Tennessee. There is also our first camping trip in our trailer, our first hike in the red rock of Sedona, and our first jeep ride.
These are just a few of the “firsts” we have experienced in our family vacations. It is very important to me that my children experience nature and all of God’s beautiful creation up close and personal. I want them to appreciate this wonderful, beautiful land He has given us and have respect for the creatures we share it with. These are the experiences that create memories that will last a lifetime. And while we jokingly dub ourselves “The Modern Day Griswolds”, we wouldn’t trade our adventures for anything. They are priceless, they are unique, they are undisputedly ours.
As important as all of these “firsts” are, even more important are the “firsts” in their spiritual journey. The first scripture they memorized, the first song they learned, their first bible, their first experience with church camp, the first time they felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. I cherish the first questions they asked about Jesus, and the first time they prayed.
I know there will be many more precious “firsts” they experience in this life. I know God has much in store for them; some I will be a part of and some I will not. My prayer is that, as they move along this God-given journey, Jesus will remain FIRST in their hearts. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33.