Sunday, April 08, 2007

Ben Brown went to the aquarium...

Last night I had a great conversation with some friends back home, and it was just what I needed. There is something comforting about talking to the people who are closest to you. I can't explain it, there just is. They speak to your heart without saying a word. Just knowing that they are on the other end allows you to picture yourself sitting at the table with them again. It also helps when one of those people has been through the same feelings and trials that you are currently facing. I've been a bit homesick this past few days, and frustrated with my Spanish, mostly because my roommates are gone and I didn't have school, so I called Jeff and Sheila.

Naturally, I had grand plans of studying my brains out this weekend, going back to school on Monday with everything nailed down, and being able to converse with people all of a sudden. With season one of Alias and House behind me, not to mention a few trips to eat shawarma, here I sit, with almost no studying done, lonely, and still a little homesick. But while I'm lonely, I don't want to be around the people here in Granada, I want to be with all my friends back in Wyoming, Louisville, and North Carolina. This morning after church, when everyone stood up and started talking, I just had to go outside. I was overwhelmed by all the voices, and not being able to communicate, so I stood outside. I stood there with all these people readily accessible, but I felt lonely. I walked part of the way home with a friend, but just wanted to be alone, because I'm the only person I really know here. I'm longing for the familiar. When I brush my teeth I picture my bathroom at home, where everything is, what the faucet and water felt like, the lighting, the floor. I miss it all.

But God hasn't called us to the familiar. He has called us to acknowledge that we are strangers and exiles on the earth (Heb 11:13). "For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:14-16)

God has been teaching me this for a long time, but I'm stubborn. And I expect He will continue to teach it to me the rest of my life, because I'm stubborn. His call for us to be sojourners isn't an external one. It's internal, and that is difficult. Moving across the world is easy, but letting God be your all in all--not your family, friends, stuff, and location--that is hard. Especially when all of those things are at your disposal. I pray that God would peel my clenched fingers away from all these things so that I can see them the way they deserve to be seen, through the lens of God's love, not my comfort. So I can touch them with God's hands, not selfishly with my own. In the end, it will bring God, others, and me, so much more joy.

Yes, I'm stubborn. But thank God that I'm loved.

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