In this photo, I am standing at a place that is “sacred ground”, for me personally. Known as Inspiration Point, this lofty promontory is one of the most gorgeous overlooks on the scenic Current River.

Morning devotionals were held during church camp, just out of Van Buren on D Highway, every morning at 6:00 if my memory serves me well. I can remember those June mornings being cold and my grumpiness at being rousted out of our bunk beds by Ervin Keathley, Director of Music and Youth at First Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff.

A Carter County native, Ervin asked my mother to be camp counselor/chaperone for the First Baptist girls every summer for 2 weeks, so I was a wee lad tagging along and bunking with the “big kids” on the boys side of the cabin.

So every morning, I was pushed up the hill to Inspiration Point to listen to a devotional and some prayer time, even though I was unhappy about it.

As I grew older, I began to enjoy the morning ritual a little and with maturity, began to marvel at the epic view, even from the benches. It was quiet and encouraged reflection, watching birds of prey glide and float; evenings, listening to the bobwhite and feeling the early evening chill.

Nights of fiery preaching at camp, walking to town to the Jolly Cone, hiking to Devil’s Cave, wading and swimming in the icy Current. These moments seeped into my soul and wove a wonderful fabric of memories throughout my childhood, into my teens.

After I reached driving age, I would drive up the hill to Inspiration Point in the offseason to replenish my soul and marvel at God’s Handiwork. Throughout my life and my travels, I have made countless mini pilgrimages to touch my sacred spiritual ground, sit on the same old benches and gaze out, just as I did today.

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