The road leading away from the island airport was well paved and passed by a stately resort with neat lawns and waving palms. As we drove further, the taxi driver began choosing his path carefully to avoid bumps and dips. The homes set back from the roadside became simple and livable. After fifteen minutes, as we neared our destination, we saw a sign: “Welcome to Paradise.”

I smiled. The sign looked hand-painted and sat at the intersection of humble roads where tin-roofed houses and empty beverage containers crowded its shoulders. But I knew what the writer meant — the small village, however modest, was in Antigua, West Indies, and one kilometer away was surf and white sand where pleasure awaited.

The Genesis story came to mind. God made light — life-giving, back-warming light. He created sky with clouds never-the-same against azure gray, then the earth to meet the sea, creating horizons pointy and flat. Next came vegetation like hibiscus, date palms, and aloe, then the sun and moon for days and nights. Then God made living creatures like laughing gulls, mongooses, and lizards; then people. And "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." Paradise.

Welcome to Paradise. The resort where we stayed overlooked the bay with two Whitewood trees crawling skyward. A tradition is to leave one’s mark by writing your name on wood planks and nailing them to poles, walls, or trees. So we did: “Bill & Shelaine, 2017, ‘… and it was good’.”

Dear God, Thank you for all you made that continues to be very good. May I respect, enjoy, and steward the world around me and not take it for granted. May I marvel at the wonders of your hand and your sustaining presence in your creation. Amen.

Go Deeper ― Write down some good things God has created in your life and post it somewhere so you can be reminded of the “paradise” even when things look bleak.

Futher reading: Hey Christians! The Earth Needs Saving Too!

Tags: Pleasure Genesis 1
Photo Credit: Mi Pham