Enjoy the Journey…

In the midst of every exciting and memorable adventure, a relationship building moment is sure to arise. You know, the unanticipated snafu in the well crafted plan. Perhaps it was the luggage that didn’t arrive at the airport when you arrived at your long awaited location.

Maybe you left your car behind and planned to rent mopeds once you arrived on the island by ferry only to learn that the moped workers’ union was currently on strike. {That was our honeymoon experience on Martha’s Vineyard.} Perhaps, the rental car company took your reservation, but forgot to hold the reservation for you. {Seinfeld reference}

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Ponder your most memorable adventures for a moment. Even as you read the words, you may find yourself begin to smile or even giggle as the memories download. Your very own memory book of adventures is highlighted by the boo boos, isn’t it? That’s definitely the case for me.

My dear man and I have a humorous anecdote for just about every journey we’ve taken together. Most of these events weren’t so funny IN the moment. {Relationship building} opportunities are what we dub these moments. However, we’ve learned over more than thirty years that it is typically the unexpected and even inconvenient unplanned situations which add the flavor to our otherwise vanilla plans.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
Isaiah 61:1

Now that we’ve all experienced a number of cancellations, postponements and disappointing changes in our circumstances due to the mandated shelter in place, I wonder how some of these unwelcome situations might be perceived in the future. Will these momentary burdens become memories of delight?

Please know that I am not making light of the terribly unpleasant – even unavoidable – feelings you have possibly experienced in this unprecedented year of 2020. The loss and the grief have yet to be reconciled I fear. Whether the plans were celebratory and long planned for or the unexpected need to memorialize a loved one, to gather in consolation of one another; the losses and the pain have been real and significant.

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61:3

Perspective, though, is a beautiful gift. Having the opportunity to travel on through life and look back from a distance adds color, height, depth and reality to the bigger picture. It may seem absolutely impossible that the disappointments could ever look like anything but an ash heap. We’re all too close to the current moments to gain perspective.

I would encourage you, and myself as well, to anticipate the journey forward, and the vantage point to come. I pray for you, and for myself as well, that God will {as much as He delights to do it} turn our ashes to beauty, our mourning to joy, and our despair to praise!

May each and every one of us look in the rearview mirror to see that the first half of 2020 changed us in all the most positive ways, and caused us to turn a chapter in our lives. May the remaining chapters in our stories be dedicated to living and loving more fully because of the disappointments and painful experiences of today.

May we each look back with thanksgiving to God for His grace and mercy to carry us through while we remember with smiles, giggles, and even tears, the many ways He restored and redeemed our {relationship building} opportunities. May we all be better for all we’ve been saved from and through.

Eyes on Jesus… You shine!

~Lisa


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