Like Explorers of Old, We Will Face
an End and a Beginning

By Marcia Laycock

During my early school days I was fascinated by stories of the Voyageurs. I loved the pictures in our history books, showing them in their long canoes paddling hard through white water. I suppose my history teachers were able to bring them to life for me because all I had to do was look out the window to see part of the waterway they navigated. I could see freighters and ocean vessels moving slowly along the route those early explorers mapped, a tiny stretch of water called the St. Mary's River.

There isn't much white water there anymore, the channel has been dredged and a system of locks built to accommodate the huge ships. But I often thought what it must have been like for those men, who had toiled through three huge bodies of water, to come to the tiny St. Mary's River.

Did they think it was the end, at last? Did they believe the native guides who told them there was yet another lake, "the mighty Gitchigumi," larger and more imposing than anything they had yet encountered? I can imagine their conversation around the fire as they prepared to shoot the rapids the next day. "What do you think, Etienne? Does this river just peter out, or lead to something bigger? Is this the end, or another beginning?"

It must have been with a great deal of trepidation and excitement that those men set off to see what was beyond. They had heard only rumors, stories of something more, something bigger and more awesome than they could envision. They must have wondered if they could cope with it. Were their boats big enough? Could they navigate a body of water so huge? They must have bolstered themselves by looking back, remembering what they had already been through. Their boats were strong and so were they. They were prepared to face what might be at the end of the river.

Eventually all of us will reach that point. We too will move through a narrow place and go beyond. What we find there depends on what we have chosen before. It depends very much on how we have prepared. 2 Samuel 14:14 says - "Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead He devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from Him."

The way God has devised is stated plainly in John 17:3 - "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

Imagine the awe when the Voyageurs arrived at the end of the St. Mary's River and Lake Superior opened before them. Imagine the excitement of discovering not an end, but another beginning. Imagine the excitement we each will know as we move from this physical realm into God's realm. Don't cheat yourself of that new beginning. Be prepared for it. Seek God and His Son now.


Marcia Lee Laycock is a free-lance writer who specializes in inspirational writing. Subscribe to Marcia's free column by emailing Visit Marcia online at:

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