Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Get Up and Get Going

What a week! I'm preparing for our first major outdoor youth event and neighborhood block party which takes place all day Saturday.  I'm also preparing for my performance at a benefit, that takes place immediately afterward. My pastor (and good friend) along with his family, are moving out of the country in less than a week, on a weeks notice and I'm trying to help our church with the transition. I just came back from visiting a dear friend in the hospital (she's doing well). And, by the way, my oldest daughter and her husband just moved to Cambodia for six months of missionary work. As I type this, I'm waiting to hear that they landed safely in Phnom Penh. "What a week" may be a bit of an understatement.

An amazing woman and me
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we took a vacation with our world traveling kids as kind of a big "hurrah" before their trip. While there, we went para-sailing and I thought this would be an appropriate time to share.

I've been sky-diving before, but this was different. You first have to straddle one of two yellow tubes that make up a "banana boat" as it motors you from the beach to a waiting speedboat. On this particular day, the water was so choppy that the group ahead of us hit a wave and we watched as several of the passengers were tossed from the banana boat, into the Atlantic. Surely, we wouldn't be allowed to go if it was unsafe, right?  

It was a bumpy ride to the waiting watercraft but, surprisingly, we were all there for the headcount.  Once aboard, the boat's captain put it in to high gear, bouncing us through the water. Coincidentally, this was the same time some of the passengers began questioning their prior meal choice.

Samantha and Andy went first. Since he is not keen on heights I was filled with a mixture of pride, in him facing his fear, and joy, in seeing the man who took my baby girl away, squirm as he was harnessed in. They were up in the air for about 10 minutes as the captain turned the boat this way and that, lunging up and down, apparently trying to find new ways to dislodge our internal organs while, I believed, yanking our kids around the sky.

They were reeled in and suddenly it was our turn. We had no time to debrief them about the experience, so I had no idea what to expect. We were harnessed in, given the last second instructions (don't undo your harness, you will fall), and away we went, quickly ascending just as you would expect of a kite when the wind catches it.

Once the line stopped and we reached maximum altitude, we looked down and could see the wake as the boat knifed its way through the water, the white trail behind it disappearing only when the ocean covered it up. The boat was zigging and zagging, presumably giving the on board passengers a new respect for Dramamine.  For some reason I thought we would be pulled to and fro, in time and rhythm with the boat below, but I was wrong.

We discovered that although there was much activity happening down there, "up here" where we were was calm.  So calm in fact that Deborah and I managed a beautiful conversation about something or other. I can't recall specific details of that conversation right now, but that isn't the point. The point is this... high above the situation, we were unaffected by what was happening below. No chaos, no commotion. It didn't matter what craziness seemed to be happening under us, it was all good up top.

This is a huge time of transition for me and my family, my friends and my church. It seems as if there is some form of change taking place everywhere, maybe even in your corner. When we are in the middle of it, that change can feel like turmoil and sometimes seems as if it won't end. But, if you could get above your situation you would realize that it's all relative and it will pass.

You see, this life is temporary, as are the trials and transitions that come with it. If I didn't have an eternal perspective which allows me to step back and see it for what it is, I'd probably go nuts. Instead, I can find peace and joy even in the midst of the chaos. I am so thankful that Jesus sent me a comforter that allows me to enjoy the changes in this life, or helps me to get through the tough ones. 

Samantha and her loves
from her previous trip
Do you feel like you are in rough seas? Maybe you just need a new perspective. If you would like to know more about Jesus, The Comforter, or this eternal perspective I mentioned, I am happy to share. 

By the way, the kids have landed safely and are already hard at work in the mission field. Please remember to pray for them (and for us).

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