Last week, I went with the love of my life to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It was beautiful, the colors were fantastic and the weather was ideal. We stayed at a hotel near the Knoxville airport, so we had a little drive from the Gatlinburg entrance to the park and the hotel. We didn’t leave Gatlinburg until after dark so we headed north and west up the main streets of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
It is hard to believe the marketing methods businesses use to attract our attention. I am not complaining, because the tourist traps are much more family oriented than Las Vegas. The lights on the boards promoting their shows, activities and food varieties work overtime attracting eye attention and desire. Fortunately, I’m well beyond the actual temptation to “try out” the opportunities, but the lights did catch my eyes.
It made me think how much businesses use the desires of the flesh in its appeal. John said it well, “For all that is in the world– the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life– is not of the Father but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16) The word “lust” can also be translated “desire” and reveals how much the flesh and the eyes are willing participants in what the world seeks to allure.
I am not condemning the opportunities in Pigeon Forge for a family to have some fun, but when the flesh, or the body, seeks satisfaction in the tantalizing nature of lights, sound, smells and excitement, then the normal things of life can easily become blasé. How much better to teach your children to find contentment through walking in the park, sitting around a campfire, sharing Bible accounts and talking about the spiritual adventures of life. Now that is where real opportunities exist for fun, because a growing believer gets to share and experience what God has done rather than the unsatisfying things that only appeal to the flesh.
What a joy to see the leaves change colors and the beauty of God’s post-flood world in the Great Smoky Mountains! With the changing light from the sun, and walking along with the person you love, the joy is far greater than what any light, sound or smell some business might be able to muster. Thank you Lord for the beauty You have created!