Sabbatical Lessons Learned Along the Way – Luzern

We traveled from Zermatt to Luzern, taking the rain with us. Still, with umbrellas in hand, we had a fun afternoon exploring this Swiss town which is a mixture of old and new. One of my favorite Luzern sites is the The Lion Monument or the Lion of Lucerne. It is a sculpture hewn out of rock that commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, when revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris, France. Mark Twain praised the sculpture of a mortally-wounded lion as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.” It made me think of Aslan, the Lion Christ-figure, as he lay mortally wounded at the end of C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It really is an awesome piece of art.


Because of the rain we abandoned our original plans for the following day and took a day trip down to Interlaken. The highlight of this excursion is the train trip – a two hour rail ride through some of the most scenic landscape in the world. Lakes, waterfalls, mountains, sleepy little Swiss villages. One of the towns we passed by is called Lungern. I was captivated by its beauty and told Linda, in jest, that maybe God was calling me as a missionary to this little Swiss village.

Lungern, Switzerland

The word that kept coming to mind during our time in central Switzerland was beauty. It got me thinking not only about the beauty of God’s undefiled creation but also about the beauty of God. Psalm 27:4 says,

“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.”

I realize that I spend a lot more time admiring God’s creation than I do “gazing upon the beauty of the Lord.”

John Piper says, “From eternity to eternity, the beauty of God is pervasive and practical. Ask him to open the eyes of your heart (Ephesians 1:18). Give your life to this quest — seeing and savoring more and more of the happifying beauty of God.”

I like that last phrase, the “happifying beauty of God”. He is telling us that when we fix our gaze upon the beauty of God, when we begin to see Him and enjoy Him and magnify Him for who He is, then our hearts will be made happy and we will find joy in our journey.

But I will need to be intentional to do this or it will not happen – and will then continue to wallow in the ordinaryness of the mundane. Shame on me if I let this happen.

Next Stop: Lausanne/Geneva

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