This was our fourth ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out/Enjoying Each Other/Encouraging each Other…take your pick) cultural tour. Our goal is always the same; experience and learn something new, have a great time, have some serious conversation, and build some deep friendships, and make it up as we go along.
We had a plan! First off, it was to visit the National Air Force museum in Dayton, Ohio. The following day we were going to visit the Creation Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio, followed by a visit to The Ark. That left a day and a half to fill up with whatever we might find interesting.
About five minutes down the road the side lower mirror on the passenger side popped out. I grabbed it as it flopped in the wind, pulling loose the wires, and bringing it inside. Another 25 minutes down the road, Jeff, my son, said, “Dad, something is not right! It is getting harder to steer and something is wrong with the brakes.” I kind of blew it off. There were nine guys riding in our weathered RV, nothing to write home about, but it had never failed us yet. Ten minutes later he pulled into a rest area off I-94. We discovered a serious power steering leak. The chamber was empty. If there was to be an accident I wanted to drive. Carefully, I drove the remaining couple miles to a turn off. Steering was impossible. Braking was extremely difficult. We needed to purchase steering fluid. The local shop refused to take a look at it but did give me a quart of brake fluid…free. Jerry, being a take control guy, starting making some phone calls. He talked to a guy about 32 miles down the road who said he could help us.
I drove slowly, carefully, and prayed. We stopped once to top up the brake fluid. As we limped into Coldwater, MI the power steering was squealing and the brakes were questionable. Mark took a quick look and told us immediately we had a serious leak on the high pressure oil line for the power steering which affected the vacuum on the power brakes. He could fix it but it would be the next day. Steve works for Enterprise and was able to get a discount on a twelve person van. Two hours later we were on the way.
First take away: Mmmmmmmmmmmm…wonder how this is going to turn out!
The Creation Museum: The first thing I saw both inside and outside the museum was an Allosaurus. That really surprised me. Not sure why. I guess I remember as a teenager that Christians did not really think dinosaurs had existed. Yet, here they were. Both the creationists and the evolutionists were acknowledging and looking at the same evidence. Now it was a matter of interpretation. We spent four hours and were seriously challenged. It was impressive.
- Animals were not afraid of humans in the beginning.
- For evolution to be a valid theory, one needs time and death for species to evolve. Was there
death prior to the Fall?
- The evolutionists have no proof that any living organism has ever evolved from inanimate matter. They have no explanation for “The Big Bang” or what caused it, nor what existed prior to that.
- The universe is expanding and no one can explain why.
- The seven C s of history: Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, and
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center: Here was a gem we discovered on the banks of the Ohio River while in Cincinnati, a monument to the souls who risked everything in the fight for their freedom and the freedom of others. We discovered there are millions yet enslaved through kidnapping children, women trafficking, forced labor in the mines/plantations, or endemic poverty that presents no opportunity for freedom. I purchased a book entitled Harriet Tubman-The Road to Freedom and mused out loud with the clerk what kind of champion I would have been had I lived in those pre Civil War days. Several weeks earlier I had walked through Marshal, MI where there is a huge memorial of her. The person of color answered my question. She said, “I know where I would have been and what I would be doing.” I have choices!
We followed this with a three block walk to The Carew Tower, Queen of the Queen City, riding to the 43rd floor, walking up two, and having a good look around. After the Creation Museum, anticipating the Ark the following day, this could have been the Tower of Babel. We came down and still spoke the same language and enjoyed a cable ride about town, had desert at an ice cream shop followed by a meal in one of the older historic sections of town.
Take Away: This took the intellectual discussions down to the nitty gritty crap of human kind.
The Ark: “Awesome” is a word I do not use often but really describes this experience. Although not connected directly it is associated with the Creation Museum. It opened for the first time July 7th. They are already experiencing on average 600 visitors a day. The parking lot and ticket que are about a mile from where you can see the Ark sitting on the Ararat Ridge in the distance. The Ark is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, 51 feet high, has 3.1 million board feet of timber, and is the largest timber-frame structure in the world. It is three stories tall and full of caged “animals,” displays, history, and possibly interpretations.
- That if you took the entire earth and made it level, the water would cover the entire surface by 1,600 feet.
- I had never thought of the Earth as one parcel of land that could have been broken up, moved apart, and reformed into what we presently know. The Flood gives some validity to the idea that what was once one parcel of land is now scattered everywhere.
- The idea that not every species had been saved but rather families or “Kinds” of animals were saved. An example might be a type of dog was in the Ark that then evolved into the thirty plus dog species, foxes, wolves, and so on. Given that this was early in the history of the world, might it have been possible that the diversity of genetic material was extra-ordinary, just the life span was extra-ordinary at that time. This has some basis in that we are all human, from one source, and yet have very different distinctive characteristics.
- There are a couple really puzzling questions about the flood:
- There are trees alive today that are over 6,000 years old.
- If there was a turbulent violent flood would not the layers of sediment be mixed up rather than layered?
- Tom sent us a YouTube copy of a televised debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham that had been held at the Creation Museum a couple years earlier. I sat and listened to it for 90 minutes Sunday afternoon. You can tell I am still thinking about this.
- It was only after the flood that animals were used as food. Only after the flood did animals develop and have a fear of mankind. Genesis 9: 2-3
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force: Our first stop became our last stop. What could easily be a full day event we tried to experience in three hours as we hurried to the exit as the loud speaker said the doors were closing in 25 minutes. There was Air Force One that had carried a number of U.S. presidents to the Gemini Capsule, from the Wright Brother’s aircraft to the B-2 Stealth Bomber, from the B-29 Super Fortress that carried the atomic bomb to end WW II to 300 other vintage aircraft that have carried our men and women to victory and freedom…to glory and sometimes, to death. Incredibly the museum was free.
And the Conclusion… There is a display in the Creation Museum of Cain holding the boulder standing over his dead brother Abel’s body. Why did he do it? Is death a part of evolution’s cycle of natural selection, not of improvement, but rather of what works or fits for this moment in history? I know that deep in my soul I carry the ability to kill my brother and yet, I also, by the grace of God have a choice to live and give freedom to others, whether it be by making a donation to help those enslaved or by supporting and cheering our military who risk their lives to protect our freedom. My guess is that God used both the words of His mouth and evolution to give us our world.
Life is terrible imperfect. Our vehicle broke down. But it got fixed by Mark McKitterick. He did not over charge and he came to the shop to give us the keys on a Saturday night at 9:15. This is a very small and imperfect example of how tragedies of life are often closely tied up with a rainbow of Grace from God.
We stopped at Cracker Barrel for supper. Nine guys around one table. Each person had to pick one person and define that person with a one word adjective. It was a great source of discussion, insight, and laughter. I loved the adjective given to me. I loved the stories, the jokes…and if it is not too corny to say so, I love you guys.