35,000ft

Right now, as I type this, i’m sitting at 35,000 on a 747, probably a third of the way across the Atlantic, near the southern tip of Greenland, but I can’t be sure- they haven’t shown that little map charting our progress for about two hours now.

I’m not sure what time to say that it is- probably 10 pm Colorado time, which means we’ve been in airports or on planes for almost 11 hours now, with at least 7 or 8 more to go.

I’m listening to music as I type this blog post on my iPod touch, using my Shure SE102 headphones (they’re great! I can’t hear the plane engines at all). The songs of the trip so far have been: Muse’s “Resistance,” Hillsong United’s “You Hold Me Now,” Mute Math’s “Ok,” and Leeland’s “Beautiful Lord.”.

I don’t know exactly what I want to write about but there’s something here, in this moment, that I need to process. To be honest, i’m still not sure what waits for us in Latvia. I know there’s a camp and songs and games, but those are just means to something else. God is doing something, which isn’t surprising, to say that implies that sometimes He’s not doing something. But for me and the other 25 people here, there’s … something.

I suppose a blank slate and an as of yet shapeless sense of expectation is a good thing, it means we are free from the captivity if our finite imaginations, and machinations.

I’ve been trying to keep my focus on one thing, something that it seems, for me, is always in danger of being drowned out by the to-do lists and the stresses that surround me: I want to keep in front of me always the expectation of heaven.

I don’t mean “heaven” in the usual sense of “not hell” or the place where every fluffy thought and feeling comes true. I mean that moment when the brokenness of this world is stripped away and first and foremost we see clearly and unashamedly Jesus, friend and Savior, Son of God, awesome and mighty. I wait for the day when my own weakness is erased and I don’t battle with the world anymore.

I guess what goes with that is a new, no, not new, a better perspective than what I had. Even as we strive and give ourselves to see the Kingdom realized here on earth and to see suffering alleviated and poverty wrecked, it’s a perspective that reminds me that the greatest evil in this world is that so many stand staring across the divide, separated from their Maker.

For all the pain this world has to offer, and for all the joy that it can offer, there is no wholeness to be found outside of God, through Jesus Christ. I need that reminder as much and as often as the youth we are going to serve in post-communist Latvia.

I lost my uncle this last spring to cancer, and I know several others who have lost someone important to them recently. A song that absolutely has wrecked me through the whole process is “You Hold Me Now” by Matt Crocker. I don’t know if any lyrics have ever done a better job of exposing my desire for heaven and helping seal my resolve to face this world armed with the very hope I have for heaven. As you pray for us, the Latvians and everything in between, read these lyrics, listen to the song, give thanks to God, and ask Him again what He wants of you today.

On a day when I see all that You have for me,
When I see You face to face, there surrounded by Your grace,
All my fears stripped away in the light of Your embrace,
Where Your love is all I need and forever I am free

Where the streets are made of gold,
In Your presence healed and whole
Let the songs of heaven rise to You alone

No weeping, no hurt or pain,
No suffering, You hold me now, You hold me now
No darkness, no sick or lame,
No hiding, You hold me now, You hold me now.

In this life I will stand, through my joy and my pain,
Knowing there’s a greater day, there’s a hope that never fades,
Where Your Name is lifted high and forever praises rise
For the glory of Your Name, i’m believing for the day

Where the wars and violence cease,
All creation lives in peace,
Let the songs of heaven rise to You alone

No weeping, no hurt or pain,
No suffering, You hold me now, You hold me now
No darkness, no sick or lame,
No hiding, You hold me now, You hold me now

For eternity all my heart will give all the glory to Your name
For eternity all my heart will give all the glory to Your name

—–

Revelation 21:1-8

One Response to “35,000ft”

  1. Loved seeing “Beautiful Lord” on your playlist! Can’t wait to hear about your trip soon!

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