Monday, September 22, 2008

reflections of a traveler

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been in this country almost a month. Some days it feels like I’ve been here forever and that home is just a dream somewhere in my distant memory. I truly feel like I’m in another place and time here. It’s crazy when you think about the fact that we’re all on this same planet yet we can be in such vastly different places. As I continue to travel this beautiful world the differences in the places I go never cease to amaze me.

Here in northern Zambia I look around and see lots of brown. It’s very dry this time of year so unfortunately there isn’t much vegetation to give you many glimpses of green. Then I think back to my time in Costa Rica last year when I saw it during the rainy season. I’d never seen such rich luscious plant life before. Everywhere you looked were shades of green so rich you felt like you were seeing new depths to its color. While I was in Chile last year I got to watch a few sunsets from the beautiful Pacific coast town of Pichilemu. I’ve never seen a more glorious sunset in all my life. Rich purples and pinks and oranges blended together to form a spectacular sight that I shall never forget thanks to the many pictures I was able to take of it!

All that to say, this strange, intimidating, fascinating, intriguing world that we live in allows us to experience different sights, sounds and feelings all which reflect the beauty of its Creator. As I look at the bush around me I can’t help but be reminded of the wilderness that the Israelite’s journeyed through for hundreds of years, water and natural resources scarce. The lush green of the Costa Rican rainforest makes me think of the Garden of Eden and how much more beautiful that sight must have been to its original inhabitants. Reflecting on the sunsets in Chile I can’t help but think of the majesty it displays and it makes me long for the day when this earth is fully reconciled to its Creator and we all get to experience true beauty each and every day without the sorrows this present world brings.

There’s a verse in the bible that says: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) So basically the writer of this passage, Paul, is saying that God has been showing himself through everything He made since the foundation of the world. I believe God does that out of a love for people. God does not desire to remain hidden from us, but instead puts Himself in plain view in the form of a wilderness, a rainforest and a sunset. God actively reveals Himself to us each and every day so that we might know Him more and pursue a deeper relationship and intimacy with Him. What an incredible picture of grace and love from our Heavenly Father! Even in our filth and sin, God through the work of His Son Jesus on the cross, is able to look at us, not in our present state, but through the eyes of redemption and still call out to us.

God, forgive me for not always seeing you where you have me today. I desire greater intimacy with you. Thank you for calling out to me and for revealing yourself to me through the beauty of all that you created.

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