Sunday, 27 July 2008
Hot Air Balloon
On the train back from Swansea this weekend, I spotted a number of colourful hot air balloons in the far distance. As they floated high against the backdrop of sun-kissed skies of a fading summer’s evening, it struck me at how much my life was like journeying on a hot air balloon. Let me explain: up there (on the hot air balloon) those navigating have a plan as to where they are heading – but, it’s not a exact science – and anything, such as a ‘squall’ could throw them of course – so, ultimately, only God knows exactly where and how that journey will end. Isn’t that very much like our daily existence? In my numerous discussions with my friend, C, in Swansea, we were amazed at how despite our many wonderful plans and preoccupations of our teens and twenties --- where we have in fact ended up at this point in our life (in our thirties) is not what we could have ever dreamt up nor imagined. And yet, here we are blessed in so many wonderful ways, echoing a favourite saying of my mother’s: ‘man proposes but (ultimately) God disposes.’ It was a joy to see C’s new baby boy, one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen, with the softest cherub skin, and big pools of blue eyes – he was delectable; and I was tempted to take him home with me, if not for the fact that his parents, the law, and God would not take too kindly to my pinching this precious baby boy (lol!) It was great to understand the beauty and radiance that comes in ‘patiently waiting and persevering with the Lord’. Throughout the weekend, the bible verse that spoke to my soul again and again was: "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you.” (Joel 2:25). Indeed, C and I have been through some extremely tough patches over the years, and yet God has remained ever faithful to his promises. Our wonderful marriages, and now the recent arrival of C’s baby is a testament to that awesome truth. Yes, there have been terrible squalls along the way that have blown us off course, and even threatened our physical, spiritual and emotional lives (in some way, and for varying periods of time); but when all is said and done, as long as God is in control of our hot air balloon we know that we will end up in a place of abundance – not in the worldly sense of ‘riches’ but in God’s sense of ‘peace’ no matter the trial or struggle that we are facing. And one of my favourite scripture passages confirms this by saying: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). It is this nugget of hope that renews my energy each morning to face the day ahead.