No.. I’m not referring to the plane ride back from Maui. My bumpy landing is the one that I had coming back into my life after our vacation. It felt so good to be in another story for 10 days.. it wasn’t a perfect story.. they never are. It was a new story.. an unpredictable story that was filled with new people, places, and things. In the vacation story, there is no concern about the future because every day brings beauty, surprises, and romance. I made a deliberate attempt to live fully through each day and took lots of pictures so the memories would stay fresh after we returned.
Once we were home I struggled with the same pressures and circumstances that I was able to leave behind. I think I expected everything to change dramatically (wishful thinking!) As I continue to make the adjustment.. .I’ve started to realize that I can either choose my own small story again or the larger story that God is unfolding. The small one is dark and negative..the larger story is hopeful and faith filled. This is a choice that we all face continually and one that I have written about repeatedly.
I write about it because we have an enemy who wants us to forget the goodness of God. He wants to steal the beauty and romance that God has for us whereve we are. John Eldredge writes about this in the end of his book The Sacred Romance. ” Remembering is not mere nostalgia; it is an act of survival, our way of watching over our hearts with diligence…When I consider all that is at stake in this journey I am on, how vulnerable are my heart and the hearts of those I love, how quickly I forget, I am moved to fall on my face and cry out to God for the grace to remember.” What more can I say?..except that I landed safely in the arms of God.
” I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterword you will take me into glory..my flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73
I am in that state right now. We are taking a trip in a few weeks and I have been looking forward to it for months. The time is near. I enjoy looking ahead.. sometimes I wish that I was wired so it did not matter, but I’m not. I need to look forward even though I know that living each day is the goal. Are you the same way? I don’t think it is a conflict..we can enjoy the day and at the same time look ahead to the future.
The key for me is trust. If I envision the future on the basis of the past or if I am writing my own small story.. the future can look bleak or scary. If I look ahead with my eyes on God’s goodness and His faithfulness over my lifetime.. I can see only a future designed by Him..a future that is part of the larger story. So every day I make the choice to choose His way and not mine. Not always easy.. but part of the life.
The year is almost half over.. what will the rest of it hold? We don’t know and yet we can anticipate..looking ahead with confidence that prayers will be answered..desires will be fulfilled..life will unfold in just the right way. God is in control and His heart is for us.
“Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.”
July is vacation month in America..even if we aren’t taking one the feeling is in the air. We’ve had some beautiful summer weather this year..a welcome relief. We need those days and we need time to relax and move away from our everyday activities. Each new morning provides opportunities to start fresh. I don’t know about you..but I need fresh starts. We all need to have times when the cares of this world don’t feel so heavy..when we come out from under the responsibilities that we carry.. how do we find these times?
Well..a trip to Hawaii sounds perfect! Not possible for me and maybe not for you. We’ll have to get to that place of peace in another way..to accept those day trips and week-end getaways..whatever God gives us and make the most of them. It helps me to remember that I can rest in Him wherever I am and that is a relief for my heart. Our inner life is the place where all the turmoil is taking place..when I am trusting God I feel like I am on vacation. He is driving and I am in the back seat relaxing. I may not know our destination but I know I am in good hands. He has plans for my life and yours.. plans that are good.. plans that are more than we could ever ask or imagine.
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”