They’re out to get you. Especially now, during the spring, as you liberate yourself from being cooped up in your basement all winter by instead cooping yourself up in your car and heading out on a road trip.
Massive woodsmen and their blue oxen, a green giant (don’t worry, he’s supposedly jolly), a colossal crow, St. Urho the Grasshopper Slayer and Ole, the world’s biggest Viking. This army is spread all over Minnesota, and while each is unique in form, they’re united in purpose: to use their towering whimsical charm to lure you off of the road and into their lair.
And those who dare to venture into the vast, untamed wilds of western South Dakota better be ready to fend off the wickedest of them all, the mother of all tourist traps: Wall Drug (I once saw a Wall Drug sign at the summit of an 11,000-foot mountain in Washington. Children in the 4-12 year old demographic are helpless against these signs’ attractive powers).
Roadside attractions are often the highlight of family trips, providing an opportunity to get off the highway and stretch your legs while you gawk at some immense cartoonish figure or wonder why a man would accumulate the world’s largest ball of twine. You might spend a few bucks at the concession stand (unless you’re a cheap Dutchman like me) and then pile back in the car and press on to wherever you’re actually going.
Unfortunately, this is how many people read the Bible. Every now and then they’ll be drawn into some peculiar oddity; a shepherd boy slaying a giant with a slingshot, God smiting the heathens with some amazing divine feat, Jesus walking on the water or calming the storm with one word. After a few moments of taking the story in, people jump back into their busy lives and press on to wherever they’re actually going.
But the Bible is so much more than a collection of ancient lore meant to entertain you for a moment while providing a souvenir moral nugget.
It’s the story of God’s creation, man’s fall into sin, salvation through Jesus and the coming consummation. The Bible is the absolute, unchanging and inerrant basis for understanding reality itself.
Such a book requires more than the cursory glance you’d give to the world’s largest free-standing hockey stick (I’m not making that up. Visit Eveleth, Minnesota to see it). The Bible is something that must be read consistently and systematically as you dig deeper and deeper into its truth.
Such a scholastic endeavor sounds daunting in our sound bite society. This is why our church has put together the 5x5 Bible Reading plan: 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week, with a handy daily guide to help you understand what you’ve read and dig deeper into God’s truth. Visit wgtncrc.org/bible to learn more.
In the meantime, I’m thinking that Worthington needs to get into the roadside attraction game. How about a giant racing turkey beckoning to travelers on I-90 from atop the old Shopko building?
Chad Werkhoven is pastor at Worthington Christian Reformed Church.