Saturday, January 4, 2014
It is fundamental - built within - a yearning that God puts inside each and everyone of us
To Worship Him
This year - 2014 - I want to learn more about what this means.....................really, really means.
It is NOT trivial
unimportant, banal, trite, commonplace, or inessential
but the actual essence of
WHY we are placed upon this planet Earth.
So, I put some of my thoughts in place here:
Thursday, November 21, 2013
I was just a spectator, looking through the lens of a camera and marveling. Men and women, young and old, all body shapes and sizes getting ready for the day of their life. At least twelve to seventeen hours lie before them; grueling, tedious, never-ending, inspiring, unbearable, and remarkable.
They had trained for months for this one day. What must be going through their minds as they put on their wet suits preparing to jump into the frigid water? There was no turning back now. What if they failed? Family members surrounded them with love and concern. Children looked with pride at their daddy or mama.
It was the Iron-man triathlon. 21/2 mile swim, 100 mile bike ride, 26 mile marathon. It was unthinkable. How was it even possible?
The sun rose golden over the water as 3,000 or more pink and green heads bobbed toward the starting point of the race. As we leaned over the bridge to watch, we heard a loud cry, “Kayak, I need help.” One man’s race was over before it had begun.
For the rest of the long day, we followed the different legs of the race placing ourselves at just the right vantage point to get the best fleeting view of our two athletes. We followed their progress based on an app, showing us where they were at any point in the race. Then we watched and waited. “There he is!” Cameras up, we wave and shout encouragement as he rode by. One group had T-shirts that said,
“Wait, wait, CHEER, wait, wait!”
As the day wore on, and the 26 mile marathon began, we could see the fatigue and determination etched on their faces. Sometimes family members or friends would run a short distance with them giving encouragement. Several times I saw an athlete stop, give his wife or child a kiss and with tears in his eyes, keep running. I heard one little girl say, “Daddy, you have to finish!”
Around 8:00 that night, we made our way to the finish line. People crowded up and down the final raceway, shouting encouragement to the tired and exhausted racers. Some could barely make it, just putting one foot in front of the other leaning toward the finish line. Others had a burst of speed, wanting to finish strong. Even though they were completely depleted, their faces shown with joy. They had finished! We were so proud of them.
It was a surreal day, taking many of us, athletes as well as spectators, into a place we had never been before. I thought about this day as we traveled back home. How much like life this is: preparation, difficulty, pain, endurance, joy, patience, discouragement, encouragement, relief. God is there along with all who have gone before us, cheering us on and welcoming us into eternal life. I read this yesterday,
“With the three divine Persons will be all those who have gone before us, delighted that we have at last arrived. In this life we often feel like lonely marathon runners, but then we will find ourselves emerging into a great stadium, with an immense crowd rising to applaud us. Surely then we will fall on our knees and cry, but our tears will be tears of joy, not of sadness. God will take us by the hand and present us to the gathered community in which everyone is totally on our side.” http://www.sacredspace.ie
It’s well worth the training.
2,658 started the day with 2517 finishing.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
This morning, as I mourn yet another friend, I think about the popular epitaph, "RIP" that people often share in consolation. Something just doesn't seem right about that when I think about heaven. I can't see my friend "resting". She was always busy doing something, teaching the children in her sweet, quiet way or traveling with her husband. She loved to travel! So, I can see her having the time of her life right now, traveling wherever she so desires to go, catching up with long ago relatives, and telling them all about the four loves of her life, her husband, two beloved sons and her new daughter-in-law.
My friend, Jennifer at http://jenniferdukeslee.com/what-your-heart-is-really-longing-for/ wrote about Heaven this week.
"You will put your hand to the heart of Jesus and feel it thrumming. Feel His breath on your shoulder. Find yourself a hammock. Run barefoot in snow. Spin through fields of Queen Anne’s lace. Wear a feather boa to supper. Put together a 1,000-piece puzzle with the guy who hung next to your Savior. Ride on the back of a lion. Visit your great-great-great-great grandma. Feed a giraffe. Paint your house purple. Never lock the front door. Tell Thomas how you totally “got” all his questions. Walk on water, then through sand, and no one will get mad when you put your dirty feet on the throne room floor."
That just struck a chord in me this week. What do I want to do in Heaven?
- Look into the eyes of Jesus and ask those questions that have been rolling around in my mind all my life.
- Stand on the top of the highest mountain and then bask in the warm sun rays of the Caribbean.
- Paint a picture
- Take a photo of the Aurora Borealis
- Sing the Hallelujah Chorus with the celestial choir
- Hug my mother and daddy and grandparents
- Catch up with my two best college friends
- Walk through a mountain meadow and pick the most beautiful bouquet of flowers, knowing that they will always stay that way.
- Continue to do the Lord's work, because I know He has the most fulfilling job waiting for me in Heaven.
As Christians, we know that after our lives are complete here on earth, we will continue to live even more vibrant lives with the Lord. Eternity is what Christianity is all about.
Have the time of your life, my friend. We look forward to having all eternity with you! I know you'll have many trips planned for us when we get there.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
My daughter told me a wonderful story the other night. She had put her two little boys age 4 and 7 down for the night. They had watched a G rated TV show that day where the father in the story died of a heart attack. It must have got them thinking, like little boys are prone to do—especially those two! Wide-awake in their bunks, they started talking about heaven. I wish I had been a fly on the wall that night, listening in on this theological conversation because soon after, the youngest, Slaton, came out and said, “Silas says that you can do everything you want to in heaven! Is that true?” Their mom looked at him and said, “Yes, Slaton, that’s right. It’s a really great place!” Satisfied, Slaton padded back to bed. When he got back in the room, his mama heard him say, “Good news, Silas! You were right!”
This week, an amazing father in our community died of cancer. He was very special to me because we went through chemo together. He was diagnosed about two weeks before I was. This man and his wife shared their journey of faith with the entire community. They really were expecting a miracle. Yesterday was his Celebration of Life service. On the front of the bulletin was a picture of Chris standing confidently on the beach with these words, “Today, I am not only surviving, I am thriving.”
I don’t understand why I’m sitting here typing this and Chris is in Heaven, I admit to being honest with God and asking Him “why”? We often don’t have a “God-perspective” when it comes to people that we love. “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us.” (I Corinthians 13:12) There will come a time when we understand.
At the service, the minister read these words: “Jesus said to his disciples, “Don't be worried! Have faith in God and have faith in me. There are many rooms in my Father's house. I wouldn't tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you. After I have done this, I will come back and take you with me. Then we will be together. You know the way to where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)
The good news is that yes, Silas, you were right! Heaven is a real place prepared for us. Jesus said that he wouldn’t tell us this unless it is true. There will come a time when we are all gathered together with Christ, living the eternal life that he has planned for us. It’s all in God’s time.