It’s been two weeks since I’ve left the comforts of the States behind and headed towards the uttermost ends of the earth. At least as far as the Marines are concerned, this is it. The end of the line. On more than one occasion I find myself talking to guys about just that. The despair of being here at times is sucking the life out of these guys.
And I’m left scratching my head trying to understand that despair. Sure I miss my family, sure life would be better if I did not have to walk through this desert for the next several months… or would it? I wrote a few weeks back about the awesome task of discovering eternal joy and how at times God has to rip away our earthly joys so we can get a clear glimpse of the undying peace that only comes when we have passed all understanding. I’m not going to lie and say I love every minute here. I miss hot showers, real bathrooms and AC that is cooler then 90, although in 120 degree heat 90 is awesome. But I have a secret that I’m aching to get out and that is that real joy is oblivious to the day in day circumstances that often surround us. It surrounds us. It envelopes us, it permeates the very core of who we are. Well it would if we just let go.
There’s a really neat scene from the movie First Contact with Jodie Foster that drives home this point in tangible terms. In the movie Ms. Foster is strapped into a sort of spaceship of alien design as she rockets through space on grand voyage to meet potential alien life. The sheer torture on her body is threatening to kill her as she holds on for dear life to the chair that NASA in all its wisdom added to the design. It’s not until she lets go of the human additions to the spacecraft and relies on the designers intent that peace comes.
I’m learning to let go of the chair.
Many who know me would say I’m a pretty laid back individual, yeah that’s a lie. I’m about as uptight as the next guy, seeking to control as much as I can, adding to the Designer’s intent just to make it safe for me.
But I know the answer and over the past decade of my life slowly allowed myself to be undone. Slowly often in baby steps I’m allowing God, the Designer, to work in my life and my Joy is growing. My peace is beginning to pass understanding. I’ve shared these thoughts with a few folks out here and I get a mix of blank stares, incredulous looks and a few knowing smiles.
Control is a lie, At least for me, I control nothing, but my grand secret is I serve a risen Lord who controls the very fabric of Space and Time. He is before all things, by Him, through Him and for Him all things were created, and in Him all things Hold together and find purpose. (See Col 1) That doesn’t leave much room for anyone else to control very much. I have joy when I should have sorrow, and peace when I should have worry because I know He lives, He is Lord and I’m His.
My prayer is that my secret get out, that the world around me would be drawn to my Joy, His Joy. That my peace would bring others to His peace. I pray that I bring, with or without words the presence of God.
Let go – Let God.