Sitting in emergency exit row 10A, somewhere over a snow sleeted Wyoming, Colorado and it’s mountainous shadow stares at us in the distance. Glancing from my tiny window, my eyes don’t want to look away from the elegant quiet force that are the Rockies. Looking away for a second brings a guilty knowledge that the mountains are still staring back. So my eyes return and adjust to the shine coming forth from snow. Flight again, DTW-SFO. We are lucky that we live under the clouds, it keeps us humble. Because to stare down at weather systems and look up to see thunderheads face to face, well there is a sense that comes being on top of the rain instead of underneath it.
I don’t really consider feelings as a statistical asset. It is because I don’t really ever think, how do I feel? Granted it is me to state without hesitance that I get caught up in my feelings, but challenging those feelings with scripture is the Holy Spirit touch of the moment. Feelings lie. It is grace that allows us to be sustained by faith and faith’s own desire it to live on and in the joy of the Lord. If feelings were considered as tangible points of determining spiritual bulcoic action, then we would consider our life like a german lilly transplanted to seemingly greener pastures because of a photograph once seen, only to wither in chambers void of oxygen and sunlight.
How come we allow ourselves to compare our feelings to a roller coaster when going up to the peak of the ride is not the best part nor the reason we got on the ride in the first place. Not only that but by setting our reason to that of a roller coaster we are anticipating downward times to come while in the midst of scaling our joy, forgetting before all this began we made a conscience effort to purchase the ticket to get into the amusement park, wait in line for that specific ride and lock ourselves into our seats without the help of the 15 year old summer employed attendant.
Jesus died but was lifted up by God’s strength.
I have traveled to 11 percent of the world’s countries on 81 flights. I have flown over the largest oceans 17 times and yet I come to believe that it is not I who is bringing Christ with me in my carry on but it’s Christ who is my destination awaiting my faithful arrival and he will stay behind when I leave and again greet me with sign at the other side. He happens to be the pilot too. In seeds, soil and harvest, God through it all will prevail as the human vocational importance of locational circumstances are weighed, weighted and measured as cultural lines are cut like an opening day ribbon.
Transplant sight and understanding onto a wooden canoe in the marshlands of Vietnam. This canoe is full of miniature crabs and one old lady holding a 12 foot long ore. You are getting burnt by the sun as each minute passes and you try not to breathe in the humidity. The bug repellant is not working and there will be no place to cool off. Or even put yourself in the bottom of a well, dug 30 feet deep, 10 feet wide, in the middle of the African planes. You are in there with a boy wearing a red sackcloth who pulls up water for his cattle anxious to migrate to a less desolate area with their owners; a nomadic tribe called the Mugambwe people. During it all, see how your pick up line works to ‘win’ them to Christ. To fully fathom the Christ who transcends all understanding and cultural borders would be only achieved two ways, by dying or by being born in every country at once. To slightly fathom it simply put faith into action by believing that God is love and Christ died for us. Love is in every culture in one way or another. In Nambia, a groom and his family will crawl from his house to the brides house with the entire groom’s party to win the final love of the bride. The province of Asia talked about by the early disciples is much the same then as it is now. The biggest fact that remains the same is the inherent need for not a but the Savior. We are so engrafted to the route of American Lifestyle that we forget that Jesus doesn’t need a cell phone to tell us to go. That is a weak way to say my point. Christ died for all. Christ didn’t die with guitar worship music, Christ didn’t die with a building around him, Christ didn’t die with the thought that those at his feet could do anything to help him our of their own “blessed” life, Christ didn’t die for charity and placebo like giving. The lifestyle of America is of self gain not self sacrifice when self sacrifice is actually the true self gain. If you don’t think you are affected I have news for you!
If I have learned anything from my european friends it is that community is not about how much you know the people at your table sharing your meal, it is about having people at your table to share your meal.
If I have learned anything from my African friends it is that a meal is not always the blessing, it is having only one meal in an entire village to offer a stranger as their blessing in thankfulness.
If I have learned anything from my Asian friends it is that the finite details of a particular interest are not to be overlooked when you step away from the big picture.
If I have learned anything from my friends in Hamtramck, it is that the power of faith and prayer will change the finite details in my life to prepare me for God’s will.
Kneeling, marching, standing and silent, I turn to the disciplined soldiers amidst my community and motion in Him, ‘Come let us feast upon the one meal that eternally blesses those who partake no matter what race, background, culture or understanding’.
Like mountain peaks spot the planes of low lying fog, do those who truely seek the Lord stand up from those who simply sit.
For the feast is served at the table of and with Christ.
‘Grace’ is only one word but we treat it like a paragraph.