For the past several years, our family has vacationed in North Carolina near the Great Smokey Mountains. We usually rent a wood cabin high up in the mountains, in a secluded area. Part of the experience is driving up and witnessing the change in elevation through winding roads. I love the dense sound of the quiet wind that rustles through the trees. I’m not sure how better explain it. What I also enjoy is the morning mist.
Every morning when I awake, I walk out to the balcony and take in the scenery. Without fail, the majestic view that I witnessed the day before now hides behind a thick mist where only the mountain tops are visible. This famous fog is the reason they are called the Great Smokey Mountains. Originally the native Cherokees that lived in this area called the mountains Shaconage, which translates to the “place of the blue smoke.” Eventually, when the Euro-American settlers arrived, they adopted a similar name and added the word “Great” to reflect the scenery’s grandeur.
What amazes me most about this natural phenomenon is the expanse and size of this mist. It spans for miles on end and is a site of beauty but also hidden dangers. While beautiful, those fogs also present inherent risks that can turn the park from a peaceful recreation area to a potentially life-threatening environment. Author David Brill explores those hidden dangers in his book Into the Mist: Tales of Death and Disaster, Mishaps and Misdeeds, Misfortune and Mayhem in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
About the book, Brill says, “The last thing I wanted to do is make people fear this amazing natural resource, but I do want them to respect what can happen in the park if you’re not prepared or don’t take it seriously.” His book and my experience reminded me of how we are all susceptible to danger when living a life clouded in sin. It may look inviting from a distance but is full of hidden dangers. Scripture, however, tells us that God removes sin like the mist to steer us clear of the threat so that we may live a fulfilling life.
Answer and Journal the Following
Read and meditate on Isaiah 44:22-23.
Pray and ask God for insight into this reading and to show you the hidden dangers in your life.
Meditate / Memorize:
Determine how you will address these dangers with His help.
Share what you’ve learned with someone else.