Paul Bunyon and Babe, his big blue ox, stand welcoming tourists to the Trees of Mystery. Just over 49 feet tall, Paul is said to have dug the Grand Canyon simply by dragging his ax behind him as he and Babe walked across the land. Now, with a wave and a wink and a lot of talking, he entices visitors to enter the groomed trail through the redwoods where they can not only view the wonders of these mighty trees, but can also be entertained by the legends of Paul’s exploits as a giant lumberjack. There’s only one catch—there is an admission fee—no money; no mysteries revealed. Oh, you can still wander through the End of the Trail Museum, learning about the lifestyle of early Native Americans; or visit the very-nice gift shop that offers temptations galore for great souvenirs; but only wandering along the mysterious forest path makes the day complete.
Much of life is like that. There is a cost for just about everything—food, lodging, entertainment—and very little is free. There is one great big exception though, because the full price has already been paid in advance. Jesus, the only-begotten Son of God, came to earth and offered Himself on the cross, paying the penalty that is required for man’s redemption from sin. But He didn’t stop there; he also sent the Holy Spirit to be our Comforter and Teacher, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:26-27)