It might be an interesting experience to sit down and talk with your family about what they remember of their first Feast. Was it a good experience? Was it a trial of sorts? Was it what you expected?
Chances are your family may have vastly different recollections than you do. My oldest daughter was too young to remember her first Feast, but my wife and I remember it well. I had quit smoking on the day of Atonement and that night we left to drive approximately 2,400 miles to the Feast. We borrowed a tent from friends and camped in 100 degree weather in Big Sandy, Texas. No one could afford paper plates so we all had some type of crockery which had to be washed after each meal. The only water was a spring some distance from the camp and all water had to be carried.
Yes, it was a trial of sorts. But the "war stories" are fun to look back upon. Forty-two years later things are rather different. Perhaps some of the initial excitement has subsided to be replaced by a far more complete knowledge of what it is all about. As we look back over past Feasts, we need to continue to look forward to future ones. Imagine what the stories will be like 500 years from now. "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). It won't be a matter of comparing, but the reality of the differences will be understood-and the problems, trials and frustrations will seem as though they could have never made any difference.
No doubt the physical beings of that time will also have their frustrations, but we can be there to cheer them on and be spiritual witnesses of how the plan all works. The plan will be witnessed by recipients of eternal life! That is what the plan is all about. It tells us that all humankind can one day be a part of the family of God. The plan as we practice it through the year is spelled out step by step and repeated each year so we don't forget the incredible plan of God. Perhaps some of the talk will center around "where do we go from here?" What does God's plan hold beyond the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles?
Imagine the speculation and what it would cover. We don't know where we go from the completion of the Last Great Day, but realize that if the incredible gift of eternal life is a part of the plan which we do know, how much more unbelievable the future work of the God family will be. Whenever, wherever, or however, the plan of God is the most exciting and rewarding thing a person can imagine. Where do we go from here? Well, right after this issue of United News, we plan to go to the Feast of Tabernacles. The most important thing in our lives is the plan of God and eternal life. Always have it in the forefront of your mind. Have a great Feast! I hope it abounds with good things in every way for you. We won't see all of you, but we will observe the plan with each of you. Have the best Feast you've had yet!