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There is the joy of having someone save a place for us. We walk into a crowded room at church or at a dinner party and someone across the way waves us over, pointing to a chair he’s held on to especially for us. For a moment we feel a sense of relief, a taste of being on the inside.

Now consider Jesus’ words in John 14:2-“I am going . . . to prepare a place for you.”

Christ promises that he is saving a place in heaven especially for each of us.  When we walk into the crowded excitement of the wedding feast of the Lamb, with the sound of a thousand conversations, laughter and music, the clinking of glasses, and one more time our heart leaps with the hope that we might be let into the sacred circle, we will not be disappointed. We’ll be welcomed to the table by our Lover himself. No one will have to scramble to find another chair, to make room for us at the end of the table, or rustle up a place setting. There will be a seat with our name on it, held open at Jesus’ command for us and no other.

John Eldredge
Sacred Romance 

I’ve been on both ends of what John writes about.  I’ve been welcomed to the inner circle, made to feel like I belong, and I carry the memories of being left out and excluded.

Tonight I am reminded that in this life, in this dance, in this journey to find beauty, we are not alone.

I know I’ve written before about this.  About the wonder of the truth that we do not walk this road alone, but tonight I needed to be reminded of it.  Tonight, I needed to refocus.

Tomorrow is Monday.  Meetings, reports, projects, more meetings, deadlines and preparations for change.  Tonight however, is the end of the sabbath, the end of our day of rest.  And tonight, my heart yearns for His presence.  For the rest, grace and joy that flows from time spent here, realizing, remembering, and reminding myself that I am not alone.

So if tomorrow doesn’t turn out the way we hope or if the changes that are in your future aren’t small, be reminded that this truth doesn’t change.  We do not walk this road alone.

We belong.
We are His.

One Sonic Society – Just to be with You:  

Last week I participated in my first group dance lesson followed by my third individual lesson.  For the most part, I’ve been so focused on getting things right that although I’ve had fun, I’ve not yet enjoyed dancing.

Last week that changed.

For the first time I was leading, and my dance instructor was allowing me to lead.

Don’t romanticize it, it wasn’t pretty.  I’m not that good, yet.

But for those few moments, I tasted something.  A part of my heart came alive.

My dance instructor made a comment that I’m still unpacking.  She said,

“You’re leading.  That’s good.  That tells the woman you’re in control, you’re taking care of her and that she can enjoy herself.”

I was thrilled to have gotten the compliment.  On the way home though, something told me I missed a deeper truth.

Life was meant to be lived beautifully.  We were created for beauty, to find it, search for it and create it.  And if dance is symbolic of life, of finding that beauty, of leading and being led, then how much beauty do we miss out on when we refuse to allow Him to lead?

If this woman, who I’ve only just met, could trust me enough to keep her safe on the dance floor, how much more can we trust the Author of our stories?  How much more does His heart ache for us to let Him lead?  How many times do I refuse His control, and try to do things on my own?

I was reminded of how much He loves us and how much He wants us to trust Him.   And in that, if we allow ourselves to trust, we find life.  We find the dance.

We find the beauty we’ve always known was there.  And we taste and see, that He is good.

Today was a Monday.

Not just Monday on the calendar, but one of those Mondays.

Today would have been a Monday if the calendar said it was Thursday.

And it was my fault, I didn’t start today as I should have.

It was going to be a busy day filled with important calls, meetings and deadlines.  I had my first dance lesson scheduled for this evening.  And my quiet time, the time that centers me, helps me find the path I should follow, and speaks peace into the situations I face, was all but glossed over this morning.

And Monday ensued.

I had things that to get done.  And I got them done.  Because I was so important.

I arrived early for the lesson.

In the parking lot I took a moment and reviewed the Groupon confirmation.

For Arthur Murray’s dance studio.

I was at Fred Astaire’s dance studio.

Monday.  

Next Monday, things will be different.  Because in that parking lot, I realized what I’d forgotten.

I was rescued from an eternity of Monday’s not to meet or attend meetings, to get things done or arrive early.

I was rescued to rescue.

Hillsong United – Aftermath 

If we are honest with ourselves, we all want our stories to reflect one thing, hope.  We want our lives to show an unending belief in the fact that life is worth living.  We want our history to be a testament of overcoming, of victory.

We want to live on the mountaintop.  And we ignore the valley.

Too many of us have bought into that lie, into the stories of endless mountaintop moments, of perfect lives flying above the storms.  Too many of us believe that if we were just good enough, we would finally find completion, we would know hope because we would know what we were hoping for.

That isn’t real life.

Last weekend I stumbled across a stack of old postcards lying scattered in a box in the back of an antique shop.  As I thumbed through them looking for artwork that would catch my eye, something else made me pause and start over.  I began to read the letters, the messages on the back of the cards.  There were more than thirty, each dated from the early 1940s.  And each one penned by Private Divis, opened with Darling or Dear Sweetheart and was sent to a Ms. Jennie nee Garnik of Chicago, Illinois.

They were love letters, letters of hope.

Sometime in 1944 they were married.  They stayed married, to each other, up until Mrs. Jennie Divis’ death in 2007.

Sixty three years of marriage.

I would love to believe that once they were married, they hopped from one mountain peak to another, each more beautiful than the last.  But real life tells me that in sixty-three years of marriage, they faced hardship, pain, and the loneliness of the valleys.  I would like to tell myself that the young love I heard whispered between the words of each post card carried them through those years, kids, careers and life with a sense of ease, but I know differently.

And so do you.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Christianity pauses to remember a moment in time that rewrote our stories.  And again, I am tempted to paint this memory, this remembrance with the quiet pastels that permeate this season.  But in doing so, the bloody reality of what took place over 2000 years ago is lost.  Tomorrow isn’t about bunnies, ducklings and little baby chicks.  Tomorrow isn’t just the celebration of life, but of a life lived in sacrificial love.  A life lived perfectly, because we were imperfect.

Tomorrow, we remember the death of a Saviour and mans first taste of salvation.

Tomorrow we will read the first of many love letters written to you and I more than a millenia ago.

Promises

And as I sat there and read those postcards, and as I read the story we celebrate tomorrow, I hear the same message.  We were never promised lives full of mountain peaks and empty of valleys.  We were promised however, that we would never walk this path alone.

We were never promised a life void of pain and heartache, but we were promised that if we followed this Saviour who lived perfectly and died in our stead, we would find our true life, real life, abundant life.

I am following Him, Christ.  Because more than anything, that is the life I want.  I want to know that one random Saturday in the year 2074, someone will be walking through an antique shop and will find my postcards, love letters, letters of hope to my future wife.

And I pray that they will reflect a hope greater that my own.  Not because my story was one filled with the pinnacles of life, but because I have found the life, the One I was hoping for.  I found abundant life.

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