They say you can never go back, and I would say that is only half true.
Recently I had a chance to go back to a place from my childhood. I got there alright, but it wasn’t the same.
When I was a child, my family used to go to Muskoka (Ontario, Canada) to a Christian conference centre. It was a summer resort for people who liked to go to church at least once a day … just kidding, but half serious.
The place was called Canadian Keswick Conference, and it was in the heart of the Muskokas on Lake Rosseau.
If you know this area it is an amazing summer cottage paradise.
And Keswick was an amazing place: it was luxury in the heart of astounding nature.
On a lake that is deep and large, Keswick was situated on a point that led into a bay. It had a swimming area with a big slide in the middle of the bay and a large boat house with those old wooden inboard boats … though they weren’t all that old back then.
The main building was a large hotel with a fancy dining room. You had to dress up just to eat in there. On the bottom level was a tuck shop.
The name “tuck shop” didn’t really do it justice. Sure, you could get ice cream and candy there, but this place had rows of crystal and fine ornaments that kept kids like me on our toes so we didn’t break anything – besides, it was my aunt who ran the tuck shop; I had to be good!
In the early 70’s Keswick fell on hard times and the bank took it over. For many years it just lay vacant.
But last week my wife, Lily, and I happened to be going to a retreat near there so we decided to make a detour to try to see the property.
When we got there the gate was closed. We drove a little further and found a gate that was open, so we decided to drive in. I thought it might be part of a private golf course or something.
There was a crew there working on the property, clearing tree limbs and blowing leaves. We drove around the property like we owned it and no one stopped us or asked us any questions.
We got out, walked around the swimming area, and then along the dock. Everything had changed so much I was slightly unsure this was really the right spot.
I walked up and around where the old main building had been, now replaced with a beautiful, palatial structure overlooking the lake.
I took pictures and video and then we got back in our car and drove up towards the gate that was locked. As we approached, it automatically opened for us.
That was cool.
To confirm that we had found the right spot we stopped at a real estate office in Port Carling. We inquired and found out that the property is now a private summer cottage.
The palatial structure we saw was the cottage … more like a multi-million dollar mansion!
The real estate agent was very surprised we had gotten in. Well, getting in was nothing; we had walked all over the place, taking pictures and video.
It was great to go back to Keswick, even though the landscaping had changed, the appearance was different, and all the buildings had been replaced.
I went back, but it wasn’t the same.
Here’s the thing: When you find faith in God, you might have occasion to go back to things that held your gaze before. But they won’t have the same sparkle or provide the same emotion as they once did. God has made a change in you.
Question: What past thing no longer holds your interest like it once did? Leave your comments below.