The Best Things in Life Are Free!

by | May 20, 2008 | Family, Priorities, Relationship

We had finally arrived at Juneau. Our first destination was the one we rated as number one on our schedule: Mendenhall Glacier. It was misting, but we decided to not let that dampen our spirits.

From a distance, the beauty of the majestic glacier immediately enamored us. The variety of color, mostly in shades of blue and white, was stunning, as were the icebergs floating on the icy-cold lake and the grandiose waterfall.

As we headed for the entrance we expected to have to pay a hefty entrance fee. To our amazement however, there was no mention of an admission charge. In fact, they were giving away brochures for the many hiking trails! We figured we had overlooked something somewhere, but as we searched for a ticket booth there were none to be found. We were amazed!

We decided to admire the glacier from as close as we could get. To do so, we chose a three-mile hiking trail that led us through an incredible rainforest. We found ourselves amongst moss-covered trees, unique flowers, ferns, mushrooms, creeks, and waterfalls. Most of the same vegetation found in the South American rainforest was available here, without the South American wild animals! (We did have North American bugs to contend with however. I mustn’t forget to mention those!) We left the glacier grounds blessed, with a pocketful of memories that will be with us forever.

If a free attraction like Mendenhall Glacier was a highlight of our morning, how much more blessed we would be with the next attraction, a tour of a renowned garden in the rain forest!

It had stopped misting and started pouring (this was Alaska, after all!), but the receptionist guaranteed us there was no better time to visit than now. “It rains here all the time anyway!” she insisted.

A “meager” 85.89$ later, we found ourselves waiting for half an hour for the promised tourist guide, who was supposed to have shown up after just five minutes. These gardens had a unique way of decorating: upside-down trees with the roots sticking up instead of down, covered with colorful flowers and moss. They looked like umbrellas. They didn’t work like umbrellas, however. Nothing could keep THAT rain out! There were also myriads of beautiful flowers on display. It was obvious that great care had been taken to landscape the gardens. Unfortunately, it was difficult to look “up” under an umbrella!

After a brief tour of the garden, we were assigned a golf cart that brought us to the summit where we had the privilege of walking to a lookout that displayed … dense fog! I’m not sure why fog is so special in Alaska!

Now I love visiting gardens, but to me rain does not make for good garden enjoyment. In fact, now that I think about it, I believe I am allergic to rainy gardens! You would be, too, if you visit the liquid sunshine state! When you are damp in the inside as well as on the outside, and every picture you take is in the pouring rain, you can’t help shivering with cold! I realized then and there that the best things in life are free. To me, Mendenhall Glacier, the free attraction, was by far more impressive than the gardens that we had to pay for. And I realized that what made it so special was that I was able to enjoy the beauty of the glacier with my family. Had I gone by myself, I still would have enjoyed the view, but my memories would not have been as pleasant!

May I learn to savor the times where I can enjoy being with my family as well as my close friends. But above all else, may I always remember that the highs of my life are always when I spend time with my Forever friend. These experiences are free, but their memories are priceless!

“Enjoy the wife you married as a young man! Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose – don’t ever quit taking delight in her…” (Prov 5:18-19 The Message)

“Parents rejoice when their children turn out well; wise children become proud parents.” (Prov 23:24 The Message)

“One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” (Ps 27:4 NIV)

Would you like a leaky umbrella? I have one for sale for just 85.89$!

P. S. The best free offer ever is the offer of salvation provided by Jesus Himself! You see, the best things in life are REALLY free!

Rob Chaffart

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