It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. John 4:23 (The Message)
While visiting our adopted daughter, she wanted to share all her favorite things about Manassas with us, so we have been cramming a lot into a little bit of time. Last night, we arrived too late to go to the fall festival in Old Manassas, the historic downtown area, but it was still hopping when we arrived at dusk. It is a lovely downtown full of old buildings that have been carefully restored and new ones that were designed to fit without being garish and modern. We went inside a few of the shops, listened to live music at the end of a street that had been blocked off with a stage, and enjoyed a cool fall night. My favorite part of Manassas is the trains and the train depot. Both the Amtrak train and the VRE, Virginia Railway Express, come right through downtown Manassas stopping at a quaint railroad depot that looks like it has not changed a bit since the 1940s. I couldn’t help but run like a nut towards the sound of the train coming and stopped where the guard arms came down to close the street while the train whistled and chugged into the station. Imagine living where you could take the train to work every day or better yet, take it on the weekends to a neighboring town for a festival or dinner! To me, the train is a symbol of times past, but here in Manassas, it is also part of their future where they encourage people to leave their cars at home, walk to downtown and take the train where they need to go. Today, after church, we went out for lunch and then, went hiking at Great Falls National Park. What a surprise to find a beautiful wide roaring waterfall right within the metropolitan area. It was like something you would see out west, but within an hour’s drive of the city. From Great Falls, we left the real world and authentic downtowns to go to Fairfax and one of the made up downtowns that are popular now. Shops once again are located on the street, connected by sidewalks, but in carefully designed buildings like Disney World. There, I ate a $4 cupcake in about four gulps. At a dollar a bite, it was one of the best cupcakes I have ever eaten, caramel cake with caramel filling, caramel butter cream frosting and chocolate ganache, but no better than the homemade ones from my own kitchen that I don’t guilty about buying and if I wanted a second, I can have one for free! We had a great day, but as I look back on it, I most enjoyed the places that were real and not make believe. So many times in my own life, I think it is better to be something I am not. People will like me. I will be happier. But God asks me to be real and an authentic faith is better than a pretend one.
|Salted Caramel Cupcake and Hot Chocolate|
|The train rolls into Manassas|