I'm in Washington state today, about an hour north of Seattle. I spent all day yesterday (literally) traveling to this most beautiful place.
Traveling is one of my favorite things. But I always discover something about the people around me when I travel. For instance, on my small puddle jumping plane yesterday from Lynchvegas to Charlotte, I was next to a kind gent who politely asked me where I was headed. When I told him I was headed to Seattle, he smiled as big as daytime and told me that's where he was going. Apparently, he lives in Seattle. What a coincidence to be on a tiny little plane with five people all heading to the same place. We found a bit to talk about, as he inquired of the purpose of my trip. I told him I was visiting a friend. We spoke of the weather, the topography, the long hours on the trip, etc.
It's not unlike meeting another Christ follower on the journey. There's a bond over similar, albeit often unique situations. But the beginning of the travel of a follower of Christ and the end destination are the same. We're all headed the same place, and I'm not speaking of heaven. I'm speaking of the journey to draw close to God's heart.
Just as the kind older fellow on the plane spoke with me of what he knew and loved of Seattle, I thought about the experienced Christ follower who encounters one just beginning their journey. They bring such experience, and knowledge of the destination. The gentleman has lived in Seattle for 20 years or more, and spoke of the familiarities of the weather patterns changing daily. I spoke to him, however with the excitement of one who is going to the city only once or twice. I shared my love for the scenery, how beautiful the city on the whole is, how exciting it is to be in a place with such grand views and green landscapes. I was excited, and as we talked, his "this is just where I live" turned to an excited "you should see THIS place."
Just like the older gent, I've been journeying on this road with Jesus for roughly 25 years. Sometimes, I forget to revel in the joy along the journey, and the grandness of the destination of being near God's heart. But there's nothing like one who is just beginning the journey or reaching that destination for the first time that lights me up inside. I love being around new believers, baby believers, and toddler believers. They see things so vastly differently. It's what Erwin McManus refers to when he speaks of the "Barbarian Way." One who doesn't have the "benefit" of a civilized Christianity, they get lost and caught up in the beauty, the excitement of things that those of us who have been on the path longer forget to revel in.
Recently, the song "How Great The Father's Love for Us" has been ringing in my head. Not sure why, it's an old hymn and I've not heard it for quite awhile. But I think of the new believers who exclaim and explode at the greatness of God's love for us...and sometimes, I find myself going "Yes, He loves me, I know it" with the excitement of someone on their death bed.
Not to say we need to be all emotional all the time, no. But to light up on the inside when we speak of the joys of the journey and destination - how do we forget how much we love being near Christ? How do forget to find Joy?
What I do know, is that the older gentleman lit up as we talked about Seattle from my perspective, and I inquired after all I could of his knowledge of the area. There are lessons in this that I cannot even begin to scrape at the surface of.
Today, I find a moment in my first morning here in my second home to contemplate enjoy and revel in my own travels with Jesus and the destination of reaching His heart to the point where it spills on those around me.
Peace & Blessings.