Is there something magical in a name? The old world had plenty of them, places that we remember from Biblical stories where prophets foretold events of the future and the love of a fatherly god. Places where kings ruled, walls fell, and earthquakes parted the lands. These were places of the old world.
As the Milwaukee Road pushed west from the Bitterroot Mountains the names that sprung up along the way hearken back to these old cities, towns, and the events of long ago. Tekoa, the Biblical home of a shepherd and prophet named Amos. Jericho, and the infamous walls of the city. Smyrna, where the church will receive "the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again." (Rev 2:8). Old world names that live on across the Western Extension, some as small towns that exist out on the farming ranges of The Palouse like Tekoa. Others as simple plots of ground along the abandoned right of way with no markers to tell their tail, like Jericho (pictured above amid the backdrop of the tall Saddle Mountains).
As seekers and travelers move along these places of old, I wonder if their significance ever calls out across the centuries? Do the messages recorded in those ancient times, in those old places carry forward to the present times? Does the fatherly god still call out to a lost people, hoping to catch their attention and reveal himself? Does the one who is first and last really come along side and walk with us as we journey - and would we recognize him if he did? Do the fallen walls of a city still hold a message about the power of faith? Under the open skies of Lines West, among the ancient names of the past is a good place to stop ask.
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