I awoke this morning and moved to a rocking chair on a cabin porch in western Maine. The rising sun must have still been having a difficult time rousing because it was still wearing a blanket of mist rising off one of the world’s most beautiful lakes. A loon was calling to the sun announcing it was time to shine. Ever so slowly the mist vanished as the sun lit up the rippled water with an exquisite spread of diamonds laid out at my feet. Backlit pines laced the shore. L. L. Bean should have been taking pictures for its next catalog. Alas, though, it was missing a moose. It was quintessential Maine.
Quintessential is a good word. Every once in a while we need a five dollar word to replace a cheapie word like typical. This wasn’t typical. It was quintessential and if I had a better vocabulary I would use a ten dollar word to replace quintessential. Maybe I should use the word archetypal. That’s a seven dollar word. But then again, I like the sound of quintessential.
I was thinking about how difficult it would be to be a quintessential Christian. The word means the purest or most perfect example of something. I have met some people along life’s journey who seemed to almost fit the description, but upon close observation, well, they just didn’t quite fit the bill. That’s what is exciting about Jesus. His life, His sacrifice and His love more than cover our feeble efforts. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15. His perfection is our perfection.
Written by Roger Bothwell on Sept. 5, 2016
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