Do you have a “favorite place” you go to get away? I’m not really talking about a vacation spot, but more of a place where you can get a few hours to be alone to pray, write, think, or read.
I’m not a religious person, but I am religious about getting away one day a month. I find this day to pray and experience solitude and quiet, is essential to do what God has called me to do. There are a few places I go to do this, but without a doubt, one of my favorites is Dallas. Oh no, not THAT Dallas, the Dallas of the NFL’s Cowboys or the famous grassy knoll (that would take some kind of extravagant budget wouldn’t it?). No, I’m talking about Dallas, Colorado. You say you’re not familiar with Dallas, Colorado? If you live in western Colorado, I can guarantee, you know where Dallas is, you just don’t know it.
Dallas Colorado sits about 3 miles north of Ridgeway along Highway 550 – or, I should say, it did sit there until it’s inhabitants got up and left. Dallas became a town in the 1880’s. The earliest residents were miners who came to pan for gold. Their “tent city” soon grew and businesses were established.
By 1887 however, panning for gold no longer held any promise for Dallas. But the coming of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad rekindled hope in a prosperous future. The economy changed overnight when the line from Montrose to Ouray was completed, bringing passengers and freight to Dallas.
In 1888, just when it seemed Dallas was destined to become a bustling little city, a fire swept through the town, leveling the business district. Not to be discouraged for long, the businessmen quickly rebuilt their town.
One year later, it was learned that a new railroad, the Rio Grande South, planned construction from either Dallas or Ridgeway around the mountains to Telluride & Durango. To the despair of the Dallas businessmen, Ridgeway was chosen to be the starting point of the railroad. Early in 1890, the businessmen of Dallas picked up and literally moved their buildings, one by one, south to Ridgeway. This included hotels, restaurants, and other prominent buildings. Today, Dallas is just a spot in the road alongside the Uncompaghre River – one of my favorite places to walk and talk with God.
I bet you’ve heard the term; “flash in the pan”, but do you know where it came from?
Wictionary defines “flash in the pan” as any ineffectual, short, spasmodic effort that dies in the attempt, such as an explosion of priming in the lockpan of a gun while the gun itself does not go off.
Don’t miss it; “any ineffectual, short, spasmodic effort that dies…”.
I, for one, am selfishly thankful that Dallas was just a “flash-in-the-pan” town. In all, Dallas, Colorado hung around for no more than 10 years. As it turns out, towns aren’t the only “flash in the pan” things in life.
Have you ever known a “flash in the pan” person? I have…in fact, I’ve known more than I can count. It’s not uncommon for someone to go out of their way to tell me how much they absolutely love our church body and what we stand for, and that they can’t wait to get involved. Nevertheless, a couple weeks or months later they’ve disappeared, never to be seen again.
I don’t have to go all the way back to the 1880’s to recall one of my most vivid “flash in the pan” experiences with a person. I was serving in Napa, California as a youth pastor some 30 years ago when a fairly young (early 30’s), energetic guy stepped into my office one day and told me everything we needed to do differently in our youth ministry in order to attract a crowd. He quickly jumped in the middle of everything and undoubtedly, brought a lot of excitement to each and every one of our gatherings – for about 2 months. Then – you guessed it – as quickly as he came, he left. Never to be seen again.
Do you remember New Coke? New Coke was the unofficial name for the reformulation of Coca-Cola introduced in April 1985 by the Coca-Cola Company to replace the original formula of its original soft drink Coca-Cola (also called Coke).
However, the American public’s reaction to the change was negative, even hostile, and the “New Coke” was considered a major failure. The company reintroduced Coke’s original formula within three months of New Coke’s debut, rebranded as “Coca-Cola Classic“. New Coke is the perfect example of a “flash in the pan” idea.
The world is filled with “flash in the pan” ideas, people, and places. Unfortunately, the Church has her fill of these kind of people as well. They’re like the seeds thrown on the hard soil and plucked up immediately by hungry birds. They disappear as quickly as they came.
Aren’t you glad our God is no “flash in the pan” God? The Psalmist accurately and appropriately penned:
Psalm 145:13 ~ Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
It only makes sense that God’s people be faithful as well. Every time I find myself strolling in Dallas, I’m reminded that people, places, and ideas will come and go but our God will never leave us or forsake us!
Deuteronomy 31:6 ~ Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
We followers MUST be faithful!!