Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This Great Pilgrimage

I love to go on vacation. I like planning vacation, and looking at pictures of the ocean and imagining I'm sitting there. I've got a bucket list a mile long of places I want to go before I die. Sadly, I'll never make it to many of them, but I'll enjoy the places I do get to see... And so today, I'm dreaming of the ocean. As I'm scrubbing the sink that is filthy nasty (have I mentioned how I HATE dirty dishes, and how very blessed I am to have a husband that will do these for me?), I'm thinking of the sun on my skin and my feet digging into the sand as the waves run over my toes. The majesty of the water crashing into the land... I could stay there forever.

  And then I remember that I'm not there yet... so I move to the next room and begin to pick up pop cans and wipe up jelly on the dresser in the bedroom. As I sort through the clean clothes and fold them, I pray for those who will wear them... as I fold my Breathitt Football shirt I pray for Brayton and all of his friends, as I fold my UK tee-shirt I pray for Kami and decisions she'll have to make. I pray for Caleb and for Wallace. And still I dream... of a time when maybe I can just do nothing... Housecleaning is not my favorite thing to do... in fact, I really despise it. As I worked in my house seeing all the things that needed worked on, I thought of that dream place- that island where the water is crystal blue and the sun is hot.

Then I sat down and read Ann Voskamp's A Holy Experience today. In this, she writes, "In Christ, you’re a native of heaven right now. You aren’t a citizen of here trying to work into heaven. You’re a citizen of heaven trying to work through here." For a pilgrim/vacationer like me, I love this! This housecleaning, this rising early to work and the never ending pile of laundry, is just temporary. I don't even have to work for my ticket... it's already been bought and purchased by the blood.

On this earth, we go through troubles, and I'm not talking about housecleaning. Death, illness, heartache... all you have to do is log on Facebook or turn on the TV and you can bury yourself in it. Jesus told us this, in John 16:33, "For in this world you will have touble, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world." We don't have to be burdened by our troubles, because they are only temporary, and we're just working our way down here to occupy the time until our ticket is punched. In Ecclesiastes chapter 3 (the famous chapter about everything having a season, we learn that "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Everything is beautiful... even tribulations. Beauty can come from ashes. And when we don't feel that beauty, when we're longing for that something else that we know life has to have, when we're longing for another destination... it's only natural. We were made for eternity, and that longing is for God's Heaven and his presence.

And I thought it was just the housecleaning making me long for something else =)

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