Monday, July 20, 2009

Soul searching in the desert

I just got back from my 5 day trip to Las Vegas.
I know it doesn't sound much like a place to "find your soul" but I guess you can never underestimate the Lord's will to speak to you whereever you go. Maybe it was the vastness of the Grand Canyons, the time spent away from home, or contrarily the sin-city that got me believing more in my faith in God. For the past few months I've been failing at upholding my beliefs and values. That blurry line between faith and doubt has set me up for a viscious cycle that I could not physically, emotionally, or spiritually get out of. This is why I chose to go on this trip, thinking it would be a short 'getaway' to 'get away' from chaos and drama. But of course, a person should never expect that running away from their problems means it's not there anymore- because if there's one thing that will continuously follow and taunt you, it's your emotional baggage. So really in reverse, instead of leaving it all behind, you kind of come to face it.

When you're put into a different setting (I was in a desert), you're given this outside perspective and time. With no agendas or deadlines, you have the ability to soak in everything around you and about you. It makes sense to me now why we're so ineffective when handling our problems.. because while everything piles up, the time is ticking and there are a hundred other things needed to be done. We feel like we are responsible for every action and essentially we want control over whatever we do. So when I left Toronto to come to Nevada, I felt like I just left that "responsibilty" to God... I still had my baggage to claim but still, I was free.

The roadtrip to the Grand Canyon was 4.5 hours. Bina and I upgraded to a convertible so we could live it up like in the typical movie scene- cruising through the desert on a winding dirt road with painted blue skies and endless valleys of rocks and trees. Pictures or words really won't do justice in expressing how beautiful and peaceful it was. For once in my life I felt like I was going with the wind without complaining and without looking back. I hardly knew what to expect of the place we were heading to... but two pitstops and 300 miles later, we arrived. Honestly, you really have to see nature at its best and most majestic to understand how sovereign our God is. I went on a morning hike to watch the sunrise at5 am and that alone took up a quarter of the photos I took this trip (400 total). The feeling that I got just walking the trail in the canyon.. I felt like in that moment, everything made sense. Really, I was in awe of everything surrounding me. The canyon has an incredible stretch and vastness to it. You just can't take it in all at once. I'm hardly emotional on the outside but this was completely overwhelming because I knew that my problems and insecurities were absolutely nothing compared to how big and great our God is. This may sound silly but I really believe that God did just take me thousands of miles across the country to stand in the Arizona desert not by random or without purpose but to kind of prove to me that He is all real. Lately, I've been too caught up in self-help books and mainstream Christian ideologies that it's been eating away at my faith. I've been trusting more in authors and generational trends than God himself. It's about time He made me realize that I've been putting too many eggs in the wrong basket.

I haven't felt the grace and love of God in months and months.. and I finally felt Him there in my heart during this trip. He really is there underneath the distractions, the joy, the sin, the shame.. He is underneath it all.

Sometimes the Lord is just asking us to pick up and go.

"It is a wonder that those exposed to such beauty forfeit the great questions in the face of this miraculous evidence." - D. Miller

Monday, July 13, 2009

Oh can I sing this with confidence?

Your Love Never Fails - Jesus Culture

Nothing can separate
Even if I ran away
Your love never fails

I know I still make mistakes, but
You have new mercy for me everyday
Your love never fails

You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night
But joy comes in the morning
And when the oceans rage
I don’t have to be afraid
Because I know that you love me
And your love never fails

The wind is strong and the water’s deep, but
I’m not alone here in these open seas
Cause your love never fails

The chasm was far too wide
I never thought I’d reach the other side
But your love never fails

You make all things, work together for my good
"I feel like I have two worlds in my life. There's the Christian world and then there's the world that I try to keep from God. And right now they're both colliding."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I want to go to all the places I don't know about.