You finally find yourself on the fantasy vacation you've been purposely orchestrating for the past fifteen months. As you climb out of the yellow taxi, you hold your two luggages tightly in each hand, and then a smile breaks forth upon your face. You suddenly feel like dancing to a melodious tune, even while still standing out there on the side-walk. Alas, you made it.
As you step into this beautiful place, you're almost in tears because deep inside, you know how you had to jump through hoops to secure this two-week get-away. It wasn't easy, yet somehow you managed to do it. You're here. You're here! You can hardly believe it. After 6 years of working for the company, you could finally afford this luxurious vacation. A dream come true.
And so you wake up late the next morning and decide to take a stroll down the beach. Maybe take five minutes of your morning to do a personal inventory on your life so far, you tell yourself.
You put your hands in pockets full of cotton and walk down the beach with nothing but your bare feet, a pretty dress, and the sun kissing the tips of your shoulders. You pause once in every few steps to pick up sea shells and throw them against the lures of the wind. It feels so warm beneath your feet, and you feel you're far away from the evil throes of winter. Far away from storms, protests, tornadoes, or even earthquakes. It's just you in this quiet place, a rented island.
After walking for a while, you decide to sit on a tiny plot of the purest, whitest beach sand you've ever seen on this side of the Pacific, and then you raise your eyes to the sky to see how blue it is, and you smile for the second time today, because you know...you just know...that you're in bliss right now and you don't ever want to forget this moment. A moment like this comes only a few times in one's lifetime, if not just once. An experience like this does not fade away easily. And if there's ever a place called one-mile-from-Heaven, this is it. Right here.
Your personal inventory reads like this: In the past year, you've lived in one of the largest, busiest, and most lucrative cities of the world. Check! You bought a house last year (not just a house, but a 2000ft home). Check! Furniture fit for a queen. Check! Employed a landscape architect to put olive trees in the backyard. Check! Water fountain. Check! Gated home. Check! Security. Check! Good pay. Check! Plus, being married to a man who loves you (and who is also made). Check! What more could you ask for? Your dreams have been fulfilled and are still being fulfilled even right now in this very moment. It's been challenging and life has not been perfect, but you can still say "Look, I have achieved all this."
But you, my dear, seem to have forgotten one critical thing. That it was God who brought you through this journey and you would never have been able to do it on your own without Him.
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Today, dear readers, I want to remind you of something that might not be a constant part of your memory. You see, before we were all born, God spoke the world into existence with a Word. And there was life.
Nothing exists in this world that was not framed by His word. All things belong to Him and originated from Him. He begot life and all that life has to offer. He is the ultimate Architect, designing the world to the standard of His majesty. He is the Author of Intelligence and everything intelligence produces, including our works (and the wealth these works provide) are from Him. By His Spirit, we also are moved to go out there and create beautiful things and attain conquests. There's no journey that we go through in this life that He has not orchestrated and allowed, so to Him all the glory must be 24 hours of every single day.
I read something this morning that reminded me of how we often forget the Source. In Deuteronomy Chapter 6, verses 10-12, the children of God were being reminded about 5 things that could make them forget about the miraculous journey God had brought them through:
“So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities (1) which you did not build, houses full of all good things (2), which you did not fill, hewn-out wells (3) which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees (4) which you did not plant—when you have eaten and are full (5)— then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage."
Did you spot the 5 things? Large cities (or inheritances), houses full of good things, hewn-out wells (or sources of water), vineyards and olive trees (or natural resources), and the biggest one - FOOD. These things, which came from God Himself, can make us get carried away if we're not careful, such that we forget the Source of all things. So today, take a stand to REMEMBER. And remembering where we come from and how far God has brought us (even in the midst of challenges) causes us to break forth into praise. You won't be able to stop His worship.
What do you think about the things that make us forget? Sound off your thoughts in the comments. Lots of love, me.