Transformation without commercialization
"This strip of land is beautifully studded with the handsomest red and white pine trees, in all the magnificence and grandeur of unpolluted nature. I was mightily charmed with the view, and it is one of those that has riveted itself most firmly in my mind."
This was George Nelson’s description of the Canal Park area of Duluth in 1802. He stopped here en route to the Yellow Lake area, where he would serve as a clerk for the XY Fur Company.
Standing in Canal Park today, it is hard to picture Nelson’s description. Even in his wildest imagination, I doubt Nelson could have envisioned the changes made to this "unpolluted" land.
Change can be divided into two categories. It either transforms something into an entirely different entity (like turning a natural strip of land into a commercial community) or it develops something into a more complete expression of itself (restoring a commercial community back to nature).
Christianity is a life-changing experience. Some believe this conversion is the radical one that completely changes the believer from who they were into someone completely different. However, the transformation is less radical. God’s grace completes the person, restoring us to the full image God designed for us from our conception. Sin has distorted us but grace repairs the damage. God does not make us into someone we never were, He transforms us into the person we were always meant to be, in all our "magnificence and grandeur of unpolluted nature."