Focusing on our Destination. Marriage Bliss, Conclusion


The Alpenblazen Concert

"Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing." (Rom 8:7, MSG)

"Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed-that exhilarating finish in and with God-he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!" (Heb 12:2-3, MSG)

Our hosts near Schwangau, in Bavaria, Germany, were super hospitable. They made us aware of a very special event in their vicinity that would be taking place the next day at a teahouse in the nearby town of Eisenberg: an Alpenblazen (Alpenhorn) concert. There would be seven people blowing music from individual long Alpenhorns, and as we are music enthusiasts and had never been to such a concert, we wanted to see it.

There were a couple of added bonuses as well. A short hike from the teahouse lie the ruins of -not one but two! - Medieval castles. These castles were not in any tourist guides, and we were almost as excited to find and explore these ruins as we were to hear the concert.

My wife carefully took down the directions, all given in German, naturally, and as evening began to come upon us, we found ourselves heading for Eisenberg. We found the town with minimal difficulty; but once there, we had no idea where to go. It was a tiny town, but nowhere did we see a teahouse or the ruins of castles.

We asked a boy for his help, but he just shrugged and ran off. We then asked a lady walking down the road, but she simply turned her back on us and walked the other way. Maybe it was the way we were slaughtering the language that made them afraid? Finally we enquired of a lady on a bike. She knew exactly how to get there, but because my wife addressed her in German, she must have thought we were masters of the language, for she gave us the directions a bit too fast for our German abilities!

My wife was sure she said to turn right at the next road, so we did. Unfortunately, this wasn't a road at all, but the entrance to someone's property, and that someone was far from happy to find us in his hills. He began to yell at us. At least my wife, who has a slightly better German vocabulary than the rest of us, understood his tirade of angry words; nonetheless, he wouldn't stop for her to even apologize, let alone explain that we were lost. Finally he paused long enough for my wife to say that we didn't read German very well. His face became an even darker shade of red as he began shouting about how road signs are international, and if we couldn't figure out what a "do not enter" sign looked like, then we had better not be driving in Germany! My wife didn't bother to tell him that when it came to road signs, "international" meant "Europe" and did not include North America. She decided instead that perhaps she should learn a bit more about European signage, and without another word to the still-screaming man, we turned around and left his property.

We stopped to ask a couple of farm workers next, and then a couple of other people as well. Each time we gained a tiny bit more information. Perhaps if our knowledge of German had been a little better, we wouldn't have had to bother so many people; but we eventually were able to put together the information we understood from each Eisenberg citizen, and we finally found ourselves at our destination in time to visit - and even enjoy! - both castle ruins before the concert began. Everything after that was subliminal, from the music to the ice cream to the red current and apple juice. All our trials were forgotten; we were in a heavenly realm.

It would have been easy for us to give up. After all, it was just a concert, and the trials we faced could have easily led us to discouragement. Had we done that, however, we would have missed a heavenly bliss.

We were not created to give up. We were destined to love and care for one another, especially our spouses. Believe me, we will have our fair share of tribulation; but instead of fighting against one another, we should support each other. Our destination is not another wife or another husband. (Do we really think the next spouse would work out better than the first?) Our destination is unity within our current marriages. Whatever else attracts our attraction will not lead to bliss. We need to learn to enjoy what we already have instead of focusing on what we don't have. With God's guidance, we will reach our destination…Even with serious gaps in communication skills! All we have to do is keep focused on the "destination" of happy marriages, and keep seeking God's guidance in finding it. Let's focus on our destination.

Do you have troubles finding your destination? Call GOD. After all, He is our ultimate destination! Enjoy the ride!

Rob Chaffart

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