Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Passports, Itineraries & Eternity


In but a few days hubby and I will be making our way through the land of Belgium Chocolates before settling awhile in Bavarian Germany. Eventually we'll meander through the verdant Black Forest and all along the Rhine River. We'll dip into Tyrol, and then into northern Switzerland before trekking through the castle-laden hills of northern France, and home again.
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It would be a mistake, if not altogether short-sighted to leave the planning for such a journey to chance. In many ways we'll be making it up as we go (we do love a good adventure!). Yet there are the indispensables that chance cannot abide.
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Obviously we need a Passport for international travel. I have also derived much wisdom from the U.S. State Department website, where no end of travel advisories and much wisdom for entering a foreign land is free for the viewing.
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As I've made preparations for this real-life journey, I've also been simultaneously fine-tuning preparations for a journey of another sort; the one into eternity. It's been my desire to leave everything in order for those that come behind. Now that it's done, I have such a wonderful sense of freedom to travel without care.
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The setting in order process has entailed the updating of Wills; of granting a Power of Attorney; of ensuring our household and financial matters are taken care of; of making provision for our absence.
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Some might view such an initiative as morbid. I can assure you, it's been anything but.
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An unexpected but related by-product captured my attention just the other day. I tripped over a passage from the Gospel of John that rang clearer than my other readings of it:
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For You (the Father) granted Him (Jesus) authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those you have given Him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (vs 3:2-3)
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It set me on a quest to search out like-passages. Though myriad, I've selected these few:
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... this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:11-12
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... the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life ... John 3:14-15
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... He (Jesus) became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him Hebrews 5:9
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It is quickly apparent that eternal life is not to be achieved or acquired by some human effort. It is granted, and it comes as the result of Whose we are, not what we do. It's a gift - an oh-so costly one for certain - purchased already!
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As a child I was greatly disturbed - disquieted - when I'd peer into the sky and realize it has no end. From my earliest memories I understood there's no wall, or fence, or shield that binds the eternal nature of it all. It goes on and on forever, unending.
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So, while I plan in earnest for my European sojourn here, I plan in equal earnest for my sojourn there - - to that eternal place. I've got my Passport and my intinerary (with plenty of room for adventure); and I now fully understand the Laws of the land in which I'll be residing. My bags are packed.
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I can relax and think about those Belgium Chocolates!
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The sky no longer disturbs me either. It is mine.
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17 comments:

Denise @ A Sacred Longing said...

We have been given much! Such joy in knowing that what we have here is only a brief moment to the eternal bliss to come.

May your European journey be filled with joy, peace, safety and lots of good food! :o)

If you have time, please visit my blog today. I have an urgent prayer request for my sister-in-law.

Shalom,
Denise

RCUBEs said...

Praying for a safe and wonderful travel! That's awesome and Belgian chocolates are the finest!!!

You're so right about preparing the wills, power of attorney, etc. Because it is harder on those left behind if you don't state what you would rather have done with your properties and even your health. I had encountered so much dilemma from family members who didn't know what their ill loved ones wanted in case they got so sick. But what a breeze for those who had prepared an Advanced Directive ahead of time. Not so much with becoming easier for those who would be left behind, but what a joy to know that what they wanted regarding their care would be fulfilled.

Thanks be to God for that eternal home we are looking forward to. We are flying to different destinations but can't wait until we fly home to Jesus. And I know the chocolates there would make us feel like we're in heaven :)

Blessing to you Sassy and God bless.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

How exciting! We had an opportunity to travel to Copenhagen a few years ago. It was amazing. However you are so right about all the planning involved.

Blessings for a wonderful trip. We can't wait to hear all about it!!!

Shalom
Robin

Heart2Heart said...

Kathleen,

What a touching and moving post this was for me. A gift of grace is all it takes yet so many look at it suspiciously as if it isn't really. Like it really can't be that true! Like you, I have my bags packed and stand anxiously waiting for my Father to come and call me home!

Can't wait to see the beautiful pictures from your adventure and pray for safe travels while you are gone!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

a portland granny said...

As always, so beautifully written and expressed! God has given you a real gift with your words, dear sister!

I trust your trip will be wonderful--a time of refreshment for you and lots of wonderful adventures!

I enjoyed your thoughts on the blessed assurance that we have for that last earthly trip we take--its been paid for and the way is all prepared-Bless His holy name!

Melinda said...

Thrilled for you, sweet friend, with just a tinge of envy...embrace it all with your characteristic vigor!

And your planning for your eternal trip is anything BUT morbid...oh the freedom when it's all done...oh the peace.

Bon Voyage and Happy Trails!

Hugs,
Melinda

Rosezilla said...

Oh, I hope you have a wonderful time. I've wanted to go to Switzerland since I first read "Heidi." I am preparing for the far grander trip into eternity, tho! I always loved the sky and wanted to live on a cloud!

Kay said...

Amen to both! Have fun, be safe and come home and tell us all about it! : )

Beth E. said...

I know you will have an amazing time...I'm sure going to miss you while you're gone, though! :-)

Saleslady371 said...

I wish you both a wonderful time. My hubby tells me Germany is absolutely beautiful. I look forward to future posts! You sound like a woman of order just like our Father God who likes order!

beBOLDjen said...

We do hope you can find the time and an internet connection to update us on your adventures. Savor some chocolate for me since I can't eat it anymore.
~ Weeeee you're going to have FUN!

Denise said...

Asking God to watch over you as you travel. Enjoy dear.

Denise said...

Asking God to watch over you as you travel. Enjoy dear.

Denise said...

Asking God to watch over you as you travel. Enjoy dear.

Just a little something from Judy said...

I know my friend, that they pictures that you share of this wonderful trip will be so exciting to see, but they will be nothing compared to the beauty that will be present in the trip to come. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear hath heard" of the beauty that is to come.

Another very meaningful post! Wishing you a very special trip.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

So glad for your journey toward chocolates and toward Jesus. Undoubtedly God will give you vast glimpses of him as you go and wander his great big earth in new an fresh ways. I know you'll take pictures with your camera, but also take a few with your heart. Those are the ones that paint most lovely.

peace~elaine

Rose said...

I think I would be afraid to go somewhere that is famous for chocolate. I may never leave! How beautifully you tied together your upcoming journey to the one journey, we as Christians are so looking forward too! Wishing you safe passage and a blessed journey. Thanks for stopping by "Faded Ladies".