I watched as the waves would rush in and wash over my feet leaving my toes filled with tiny foam bubbles, and covered in grains of wet squishy sand. I looked at the sun and back again at the sea stretched before me filled with people enjoying their Christmas eve.
It didn’t feel like Christmas to me, but I reminded myself to embrace this moment. This moment when all I wanted, was to be at home with snow boots, a scarf, and watching as white fluff would fall to the ground and begin to blanket the ground in white frosted snow…
But as I stared more into the ocean as I allowed the waves to wash over me, I reminded myself… do not loose the wonder… remember that your meant to embrace this place… right here right now.
In this place (Australia) it is so easy to loose the wonder of the surroundings. Of what God offers in this place. In this place that looks nothing like any other place in the world.
It begins to feel much like the dreaded 26th of December (at times) that leaves with it in the air a lingering feel of “definiteness .” Taking with it the frosted cover sugar cookies, the carols over the open fire, the hot chocolate, and of course the presents… It is easy to make everyday blend into one, offering no room for God to grab at you, to take you to new secret places with Him, because you have allowed familiarity to sink in and take hold of you. It is much like our pastor was saying that humans do not do well in a setting of monotony, familiarity yes…monotony no. There is a huge difference. Familiarity is comfort with the surroundings whereas monotony…well lets just say after working at a cubicle doing the same things for nine consecutive hours you really begin to wonder what on earth you are doing with your life.
And this is what this two month break (school holidays) has managed to do to me, or I to myself.
This whole holiday season I have had to brace myself on the idea of not seeing my family, of continually just putting one foot in front of the other. To just sit at Jesus feet. And boy is that harder than it sounds, going from serving six times a week to serving once or twice, and not having school preoccupy your time, you get to think a lot and its easy to fall into monotony, comfort and routine. The everyday (even though I am living in a foreign city a beautiful one at that) begins to loose the flavor on the tongue and the textures, sounds and colors all blur into one making the canvas look much like vomit (I know to much info). But its true.
So it was good to get away from the Meritons for three days and reacquaint my two passions Jesus and nature.
Me and my dear friend found ourselves in a cabin like place perched in the fresh air, and quietude of what is the Blue Mountains.
Here far away from everything that distracts my soul began to desensitize not only to the sounds of the city but to the residue of unwanted things. Things that get into the soul and fester there, that only weigh the Spirit down… those things began to be left at the feet of Jesus. I managed to pray and fast and just read The Living Word.
During my time in the Blue Mountains, God begin to speak to me, reveal things in me that needed to change and be cast out and laid on Him. One night I found myself on my bed in the Hostel/Cabin we were staying in, and I just felt God telling me, “Grab your coat and come with me…” (meaning outside) and I questioned it for a bit. But nonetheless I grabbed my coat and my scarf and walked outside and sat on a tree stomp overlooking the small town that lay below the ledge.
The rain was lightly coming down and bathing everything in itself. From the leafs of trees to the grass and me. The night sky was covered in grey storm clouds that lay silent bringing down rain. The air was brisk…and before me lay tiny houses illuminating the dark expanse like little lightning bugs, and off to the side I could see the headlights of cars driving to and fro on the lone mountain highway… and off to the very front of me a spectacular thunder show was taking place. Every couple of minutes the sky would become illuminated in shades of red, white or yellow as the thunder roared in the sky…
And I talked with God. And I would lift my hands as, Take All of Me by Hillsong would play. It was truly magnificent. A real, raw moment with my Savior, God and friend.
Moments like these are what remind me that I serve a real God. A God that cares to captivate my senses and remind me of His promises. I can’t wrap my mind on the fact that He told me to go outside so that I could just sit and watch the thunderstorm with Him. Wow. That He would care so much for human relations is beyond me. To love something so futile and still invite us into His thrown room. The wonder of Him is too beautiful to grasp.
Experiencing God, in a different place on a whole different terrain.
On the final day of the trip we headed to do the hike and site seeing of The Three Sisters and see more of the Blue Mountains.
When we arrived there we could sense it. We were in tune with Gods creative Spirit. We saw the mountains he had sprung forth since the beginning of time. We could see His creative touch on every rock and every mountain top. As we would look out to the expanse of trees and mountains and mist you could sense the Spirit of God hovering, like He did in Genesis over the water… the Spirit of God was free to roam and have its being. It was indescribable.
It was as though everything there was speaking to me. God revealed to me the significance and the importance of leveling the mountains as He says in Zephaniah. And as I trudged through mush as we hiked he reminded me of the heart He has given me for missions. Of the patience I must began to cultivate before I can see that promise. He reminded me of the nations… he reminded me of the cultures and he reminded me of the people. It felt much like a pilgrimage. And even though I looked out to the green expanse ledge after ledge, I could see that all the tree tops looked the same. I could see the monotony of them but when they were all together they created something beautiful.
Which leads me to believe that the quiet mundane things must come together for something. Because in the greater picture it forms something of its own beauty.
So maybe after two years I’ll be done in this place… and hopefully along the way I can let God captivate me in the mundane, and take me away with Him to those hidden place. And hopefully I can spit and rub in the rocks of my life until I can finally see the gold. In the everyday as a new season approaches. As I forget the past and press on towards the future believing that the best is yet to come.
It is like G.K Chesterton says,
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
So I am believing that even with all my fears of this approaching year, and with all the monotony that may exist in between I am choosing to believe that even in those things God will speak. God will flow. And that God will cultivate.