The last few months have been sort of rough for me. A lot of things have been said and done that have honestly made me want to pack up and leave Walker county. Truthfully part of me wants to be as far away from Alabama as I possibly can. As cliché as it is for a twenty-something to want to move to Portland Oregon, It still seems like a nice place to live. It is these moments in my life that my longing for something more than the open road or a new start really becomes clear.
A new start in a new city would be great, really just to have some time to get away from this place for a little while would be more than satisfactory. I definitely could settle for a vacation, at least for the time being. There is something I have learned through the constant wrestlings with this ache and my bones. I have learned that all of this longing is for something so much more than the open road or a new city to start over in. It is for Home. It is for The Age to Come. That gorgeous city that we always see in our dreams. The New Jerusalem.
It has been the dream of our Fathers. It is what Adam found solace in when The Father declared that from Him would come the one who would crush the serpents head beneath his heel. It was what Abraham saw in the distance and rejoiced. Canaan only stood as a temporary taste of the promise to come. It is the driving force through the stories of the Prophets and Poets. It was the joy that Christ saw when He carried our cross. It is the hope of the Gospel. That some how, some day, Christ will come and make all things new. That one day the worlds foundations will be laid on the unwavering Shalom of our Creator!
I find so much comfort(despite being coincidental) in that fact that Shalom sounds so much like Home. This longing so often feels like nostalgia and we get caught up in wanting to go back to the things that were but the reality a that the past exist only stir our thirst what lies ahead. We all have this nostalgia for a place we have never been. We get glimpses here and there. Just enough to keep us looking ahead. The times we are the most close to the city are the times where we are focused on the here an now. The present is most like eternity. In this present moment nothing else exist. The past is gone an the future is not yet come. It is quite the paradox to think that the fullness of Christ is in us but at the same time that fullness longs to married to our final home. It is what makes us pilgrims in the present state of the world.
This all makes me very conflicted. I so very wish that this longing could be subsided in a new city or the open road but it can not. Babylon will always be Babylon until we sow the seeds we have in our hands. I am caught between the idea of seeing this city burst through seams of this place I have grown to hate or to leave and shake the dust from my feet. I do not know what we will choose. For now I think we are to focus on what is right in front of us and just enjoy the ride. Maybe there is hope for us in this place or maybe it is time to move out to somewhere else beyond our horizons.
All I now is that the only relief to the ache in my bones comes from when I decide to be here and now. I hear the city we call shalom in my sons laughter, I see it in my wife’s smile, I embrace it in our community of great friends. So whether I am here, or there(Portland?), or anywhere the key is to simply just BE. Enjoy the journey and move as the Spirit flows. Allow eternity to seep through into your life and press on to the hope that we have in Christ! We live in the “now” and the “not yet”. The only way the “not yet” will become the “now” is if we live as if the “now” is the “not yet”(there is no good way to word that haha). Despite redundancy I will say it again, where ever you find yourself be there! Really be there!
Through whom, to whom, and for whom all things exist!