You guys know I went to a foreign country last year and it changed my life. I suspect in way I won’t fully realize for years yet.
Well, today I was reading something by one of the other girls who went on that trip with me, and I marveled at how similar we were feeling in some ways, and how different in others.
It is for privacy’s sake I don’t post pictures of myself or any really personal information here, so I can’t show you what the trip was like, but I have talked about it.
You learn a lot from another culture, and in my case, you learn that different as it is, in many ways it is more comfortable for you than your own.
I really feel out of place in the Western World. I value my rights as an American, and I thank God I was born here, and had the freedom to learn about Him without being arrested, or fined, or laughed at. But that aside, I’ve never really felt I belonged in this country.
You ever get the feeling you were born for somewhere else?
I think everyone gets that feeling at one time or another, before we get old enough and cynical enough to be convinced we deserve what we’ve got and there’s nothing better available. Am I the only girl my age who still believes she’s going to live in a palace one day? Probably not, but in another ten years, who knows? I may very well be the only one who thinks so.
Is it normal to be seven years old and think you just don’t fit into the world around you?
Well, maybe the better question is, is it normal not to feel that way?
We all do, sooner or later, but we usually dismiss it. Or we blame it on the wrong thing. The truth is, we are not meant to be perfectly happy on this earth.
It would kind of be wrong if we were, given all the horrible things that happen daily, I’m not one to focus on them, but it’s like Reason tells Milo in The Phantom Tollbooth. “When you are sad, no one else in the world can be truly happy.” I wouldn’t go quite that far, but no one else can be totally happy while there is suffering in the world. And that is as it should be, we are meant to bear with one another, and if you will not do it willingly, your life will still be affected by the world enough for you to do it subconsciously.
But this begs the question, if we are not meant to be perfectly happy here, where are we meant to be happy?
See, wise people know that a perfect thing on earth will not last, and they do not hold onto to it too tightly, but the wisest of all know that though earth is not the place for perfection, there must be a place.
We all yearn for the perfect, the complete, the finished. There has to be a time when we will or are meant to have it.
Imagine what it would be like to feel in your bones that it was time for perfect joy. I don’t know how, personally, I could stand it; like the sweet water from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, it might kill me, but it would be the death I would have chosen. (FYI, the water doesn’t kill, it actually heals, but that’s all in the book, you should read it if you haven’t.)
I believe that we are meant to have increasing joy in this life, because I believe that God gets better the more you know Him. I believe God may even give happiness to people who do not believe in Him, because He never leaves anyone without something of Himself, whether they choose to acknowledge it or not.
I believe that one of C. S. Lewis’s greatest achievements was how, in books Five and Seven, of the Narnia ones, and in “Till We Have Faces” and “The Great Divorce,” and also “Perelandra” in some ways, he managed to make the reader see a tiny glimpse of what heaven must be like. Only the tiniest glimpse, but even in that, it’s like Alice looking through the keyhole of the tiny door, into the garden, and already wanting to go there. (Alice’ Adventures in Wonderland.)
You want to go there, so badly, it scares you.
Whenever we want something with all our being, it is scary.
“My heart and Flesh cry out for the living God.” Psalm 84:2
Wow, this got deep.
What’s interesting is that you don’t have to be a Christian to get what I’m saying, you just have to know yourself.
Actually, plenty of Christians wouldn’t get this, because it is so easy to forget that first love and joy of being one.
If I may say so, one of the biggest problems we believer shave is forgetting what it was like to first be one. For me, it was as if I’d never seen anything before, or heard, or felt, it was all so much more vivid and vibrant. I mean even material things, not just the internal kind of sight.
That’s why I can’t be convinced it wasn’t for real. Nothing before it was as real as what came after it.
I’d like to end by going back to what I said about feeling out of place. I think once we accept that sorrow, it no longer is a sorrow. It is just a reminder of what we are to hope, it keeps us form getting too bogged down by stuff that is just not important. It brings to mind this other song I know, I’ll just quote the chorus here:
I’m going home, to the place where I belong, where Your love has always been enough or me.
I’m not running from, don’t think you got me all wrong, I don’t regret this life I chose for me.
But these places and these faces are getting old, so I’m going home.
Until next time–Natasha.