Thursday, July 18, 2013


These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us.  There's far more here than meets the eye.  The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow.  But the things we can't see now will last forever.  II Corinthians 4:17,18 (MSG)

One minute Philip was lounging in his room with his attention fixed on building a new world in Minecraft, then after calling out that it was time to head out, he bounded off of the bunk, dropped his pants, and pulled on his favorite swim trunks.  He was ready in less than a minute!

I checked in Phil's room to make sure all of the lights were turned off and I chuckled when I noticed that his pants literally stood on the floor where he stepped out of them!

My son was ready in an instant to take off the old khakis and change into his trunks when he knew we would be leaving this small cramped poolside condo for the wide open sandy shore of Playa del Tamarindo (Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica).  Of course it didn't slow him down any to think that he was going to meet up with Eddie for his first surfing lesson either!

New challenges, new thrills; the anticipation was enough to keep him up half the night as chattered on.  He envisioned himself riding in on the waves.  All the time wondering how big they were going to be, would he fall a lot, would he get slammed?  Just trying to imagine himself doing something he had seen others do on videos created an excitement in him that bubbled over the whole night before.

On the hour long drive over to the neighboring beach, I looked over and saw the eagerness in his eyes as he joined in the conversation.  Jerry and Eddie sat up front, and Philip and I in the back of our Nissan rental.

We passed farms, small towns, lavish estates as the road wound closer to our destination.  We passed a group of horses loose on the road ever so carefully as we remembered Eddie's story about getting the radiator on his Jeep kicked in by a stubborn horse that didn't want to vacate the road just a few weeks before.

Before we knew it, the car turned into a narrow road lined with more surf shops than I had ever seen all in one place.  The public parking was off to the right.  We walked over to Kelly's, a surf shop that Phil's instructor used to rent boards.  He chose a light blue board.  It was lightweight and not too long for him.  Then Eddie insisted that Philip borrow a long sleeved shirt from the rack of various shirts available for surfers to use and return.
 Now, while he might have made a comment to me about how he didn't need the shirt or tried to wheedle out of it, with Eddie he just took it and said, "Sure".  He couldn't wait to get out there in the water and learn a new sport!  He was READY!
With a passion to learn this new water sport, Philip experiences a driving force that takes him out of his comfort zone with no fear. 
Listening patiently, yet eager to embark on the experience itself.
Okay, one more pointer, yes, listening intently, but the water looks good right now.
In we go!

This is the life!  I too am ready!  Each day brings more challenge, more adventures, and more connections, but the passion stirred up in my spirit is a foundation for the canvas of my life.  Being at the right place at the right time helps, yet nowadays I believe being in the right state at the right time is much better.

I believe in my Creator.  I believe in my Redeemer.  I believe in the Helper.  They all reach out to me and communicate my worth and yet they also dangle before me so much freedom to explore and see just how good my God is.  See the earth, a tangible, natural creation, yet hear the invisible music that lifts my spirits.  Hear him speak a few words that transforms fear into joy.  See lives turned around and purposeful by the filling of His spirit. 

Heaven is one thing I have longed for with a passion all my life.  I yearn for goodness, peace, love, and pure joy with no guile.  At times I am distressed and feel life is futile because so much is out of whack around us.  Nothing seems to make a huge difference for so many that are struggling with evil in their midst.
Yet, we are the difference.  Each and every one of us makes the difference every day.  The daughter-in-law who changes sheets for an elderly mother, the brother who hears his sister cry and goes to comfort her, or parents driving six hours to pick up a beloved daughter after a forty day trip abroad.  A mother holds that precious baby girl and softly sings and smiles to express how much she is loved and valued.  Chopping vegetables for an hour, so your husband can begin his diet.  Helping to pay for a funeral and cleaning out the apartment of your ex-husband in respect of your children's sorrow and loss.  Simply smiling and really wanting to know, "How are things going for you today?"

I find that when I see acts of courage, kindness, and genuine love that I am touched by Heaven on Earth.  We are that intersecting point, as Alan Smith so beautifully states in his book, Unveiled.  We have the freedom to meet and live the heavenly everyday.

One day we have our full glory restored in earth as it is in heaven, but living daily in his presence and with a heart ready to hear and respond to the opportunities around us fills us so full of purpose and lasting joy.  I think my heart will probably burst when I finally get to be in God's presence.

Watching my son's anticipation, his readiness for this new experience was delightful and reminds me of my own anticipation with new experiences everyday.  I look forward to life eternal with all my heart still.  The perfection and beauty of new exploits and escapades in this wonderful world without evil that God has for us is alluring.  I cannot wait! 
Today has so much potential as well.  Practicing God's presence.  More to love and more to learn.  More given back to me than I could ever give away.  This is where I am now.  But someday, like my son's delight in learning to surf for the first time, I will be with Jesus face to face...forever!  Wow!  I'm ready!
 One of Philip's initial trips across the waves!  He high fives as he passes another surfer, he is so thrilled!

You can contact Eddie by following this link to their Facebook page.  He works out of Playa del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

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