Alan likes to tease that Harriet has saved our marriage. Harriet, named after Dorothy Sayer’s inimitable sleuth, is our GPS. In fact, I remember once in the olden days (before GPS) trying to find our way down to the center of Rome with Jonathan and Kathy in the back seat totally stressed out… because Alan and were in the front seat totally stressed out! A GPS is a great thing—when it works. When it fails, it’s a major frustration! I have very dark memories of driving back and forth along a brand new freeway just north of Venice with Harriet pleasantly demanding that we get off where there was no exit (outdated maps)! That time it was Stephen and Joel in the back seat, but they were probably feeling equally tense! We finally managed to find a way around the fires and back to the sea, but “Slieve League”— famed for being the highest sea cliffs in all of Europe—was simply not a destination that Harriet knew anything about! Alan was extremely tired by this point (understandably: he did all the driving on these left-hand-sided isles). Alan wanted to scratch our outing to Slieve League and just go to our hotel.Reluctantly, I agreed, but then we couldn’t even find our hotel, even though we had an address. After searching for an hour or more, we finally stopped at a pub where a kindly resident explained that there was an old highway and a new highway by the same name, and our hotel was on the old highway down a rather remote back road!On the less dark side (because nothing was bright at this point), the inn keeper said that the entrance gate to Slieve League was just a stone’s throw away down a little country road, and that we couldn’t miss it! “Just make sure you close the gate behind you, so the sheep don’t get out.”Now, here is an amazing thing! There are no road signs pointing the way; there is no park, no fan fare, no entrance fee to access the road to the top of the highest sea cliffs in all of Europe! A GPS can’t be programmed to take you there. You have to ask people who’ve been there before and are willing to tell you! The road goes through private land, but all we had to do was find the right road, open the gate (which wasn’t locked, although at first we thought it might be)…close it behind us (to keep the sheep safe), and we were on our way up to the mountain top!And here’s another remarkable thing: hardly anybody was on top! We often watch the sunset over Lake Michigan from the pier in Grand Haven, and in the summer it is crowded with fellow sunset lovers. Have you ever watched the sun go down in Key West? I mean, the sun practically has a cult following there! How is it that in this spectacular setting, as the sun set sail over the vast Atlantic on its way to America, no one seemed even to know or care?
The sight will take your breath away, it is so majestic! I was flooded with a sense of joy and so glad that Alan hadn’t given up!The freezing wind nipped at us, but it was one of those experiences you wouldn’t miss for the world!Stephen exalted in the glory of it all with his own special exuberance!We walked along the path, watching the waves crash against the rocks some 1,972 feet below. The Cliffs of Moher are much more popular, but only 1/3 the height!As we watched the sun set in all its brilliance, I couldn’t help but think of many parallels to finding eternal life in Christ. It’s not advertized by the world. You can’t get there by using a program, and the common program “just be good” doesn’t actually work. It’s not on the “broad way”…it’s up a little, windy trail. It’s so hard to find that it’s tempting to give up the search. You can’t find it on your own, you have to ask somebody who knows the way (Jesus). Other venues are much more popular, but they aren’t nearly as lofty.There is no admission fee. All you have to do if open the gate (but close the gate behind you to keep the sheep safe). Even though it’s a mountain top experience, very few people take advantage of the opportunity. It’s not easy, but it’s worth every minute! People respond differently, but all who seek will find something glorious!
“You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all our heart”