“And You are sovereign over all that’s been broken by the fall/ So give us strength, Lord, here and now/ In the days between The Cross and Crown.”
-Newsong, One True God
I’m a sucker for road trips. Seriously. I love them. If all I have is my camera, a notebook, coffee, snacks and good tunes or podcasts to listen to, I can drive anywhere for any amount of time.
This last June, my 15-year old daughter, Molly and I hit the road from Portland, Oregon to Anaheim, California. Just the two of us. We were headed to Vid-Con and to meet her internet bestie for the first time. It’s a 16 hour drive without stops.
Inevitably, things never go quite as you hope, but after I remembered how to pump my own gas and got over the fear of motorcyclists passing between cars, it was pretty smooth sailing. We stopped about halfway to stay the night in a hotel then rushed out the next morning, eager to get there. Molly had made a variety of playlists so we sang and giggled and snacked our way south.
The way back was a different story. It turns out that Molly and the friend she’d met didn’t want to say goodbye. (Go figure, right?) So we did the logical thing and drove to her house, near San Francisco and hung out for a few hours. The plan was to drive a couple more hours north then get another hotel. But…plans changed. As Molly drifted off to sleep beside me around 10:00 pm, I just kept driving. By the time I made it across the state line back into Oregon I felt like I was so close to home that I might as well keep going. Medford, Roseburg, Eugene, Corvallis, Salem…every mile I was getting closer and closer to home. Closer to my own bed. Closer to my own shower. Closer to my son and husband. I just wanted to get home.
I finally gave up somewhere between Salem and Oregon City. I honestly don’t remember where. I just pulled into a parking lot and slept. Hard. And 45 minutes later, we were back on the road. I couldn’t wait to be back where I belonged.
Isn’t that true for all of us? We look around at this world and we recognize that it’s broken and somehow ‘not right’ and that we don’t quite fit in.
It doesn’t take a genius to look around and see a fractured and fearful people. Between the threats of war, political leaders and Hollywood celebrities falling off their pedestals as women cry out, ‘Me too,’ and the moral fabric that’s always been associated with the American Dream, baseball and apple pie collapsing, is it any wonder that we, as Christians, feel torn and ill-at-ease in this world?
In speaking of His disciples as He prayed, Jesus said, “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:14-17).
Even the earliest disciples of Christ felt the pull between their earthly life and the knowledge that there was something yet to come. They not only felt that pull, but Jesus himself recognized it and prayed for their protection. Why do we feel like we should be exempt from the same struggle?
The fact is, this world is vastly different than when I was a teenager. I didn’t have a home computer until I was 22 years old and married, in 1995. As it is now, my 15 year old daughter has never lived in a home that hasn’t had a cell phone. She’s never known the joy of getting wrapped up in the extra long cord that leashed you to the kitchen wall while you tried desperately to have a private conversation as your mom cooked dinner nearby. Conversely, I don’t have any idea the pressure she faces as her every move is being documented and watched by thousands on myriad social media sites.
Regardless, there are some things that never change. Sin is sin and truth is truth. God has set boundaries for His followers and we will always try to push those boundaries. We will want to follow Him and be used by Him for mighty purposes and we will struggle with overcoming our basest, most selfish desires that directly oppose the very thing He’s taught us. We will long to be at Home with our Heavenly Father but will also long to see our children grow and have children of their own, taking our final breath as we sleep at a ripe old age.
We are caught between the cross and the crown; the finishing work that Jesus did on the cross as He bore our sins and nailed them to a tree as the ultimate sacrifice and the time when, at last our bodies are restored and perfected and we will be able to worship at the literal feet of the One who saved us.
Until that time, we are on a long road home. Sometimes, it takes us through some very treacherous terrain; the road is winding and narrow with cliffs on either side. Other times the road is broad and gentle, with nothing but blue skies and birdsong. Either way, we are all travelling along, crossing paths with some who see the world as we do and others who don’t. We have to navigate this road. And we are called to navigate it well.
We know where our destination is: standing before God and answering for the life we have lived. How we get there is what this blog – and eventually the podcast – are all about. Our journeys will look different; we’ll have a variety of experiences along the way. In the end, we hope – Matt and I – that this will provide you with a little extra glimpse at the roadmap. We certainly don’t have all the answers. But we know Who does.
Happy travels, friends! We’ll see you on the other side.
-Brandy and Matt