The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I've been thinking a lot the past few days about those phrases we use that have to do with getting to the end of something. You know, we "see the light at the end of the tunnel", we "finally get to the finish line". We're "working for the weekend", and we "think we can, we think we can" up the big hill in order to coast down the other side.

I suspect that I've been thinking of these because they are so applicable to our home situation right now. As I write this, we are about a week away from closing on our new house in Fresno, allowing us to move out of the rental and finally get settled in a more permanent home. This will be a huge help to us practically, as we will finally be able to unpack all of those boxes in the garage and find those random household objects that we have been missing for months, such as the birthday candles, swim goggles, and several pairs of bed sheets. If all goes very well, we might even be able to transition to a garage that we can put a car in, which would be quite a new thing for us (although I'm not holding my breath on that one).

In addition to this move helping us practically, it will also help us get more settled emotionally. We will have a home, instead of a rental. We will have a place that is ours that we will "come from", and a place to invite people to and treat them hospitably. We will have a nest to - nest in.

As this big day approaches, this allows me to now see the light of the "Finding a New Home" tunnel, and this is a good thing. Of course, the light at the end of New Home Tunnel is not bright, glaring sunlight. Due to my optimistic and perhaps overly idealistic nature, I see that light to be very warm and cozy, like a lamp on a winter's day. Beside the light is a comfy, red leather recliner. Surrounding the light and the chair is a comfortable and well-decorated home, and of course, it's very clean and tidy, too.

Isn't this the way it always works, though? We often find ourselves working hard to get through things, all the while visualizing the end result to be much better than what we're going through to get there. We wait for a special thing to happen that we have been anticipating, knowing it will be worth the wait. We toil through a busy, challenging time, confident that things will get better. Or perhaps we endure a non-promising stretch of time, such as the months before we graduate or before we move into a "real" house, knowing that the grass (and the house that sits on it) must be much greener than what we have now.

I remember a specific instance during the weeks before our move to California where I was in this exact scenario. I had a list of things to do a mile long, and all I cared about was just getting to that place where I was done. I pictured myself sitting calmly and restfully when everyting was checked off, breathing in the good life of done-ism. As soon as I pictured this though, I had a sudden realization that I don't think that's how God intended life for us to be. It seems to me that the good life that God offers us is now - in the midst of whatever it is we're doing right now. It's not as if Jesus is standing at the end of the race holding a big cup of Living Water out to us, urging us to finish what we're doing so we can drink it. The Living Water is there for us every step of the race. In #4 of the fifteen-item To Do list. On a Tuesday of a five-day work week. When we're not even halfway through the tunnel, and it's still pretty dark. Sure, it's sometimes hard to taste the good life in those situations, but perhaps it makes it that much sweeter that we can find it and be refreshed even in those times. Not in the joy of "One Day", but in today.

The truth of this for me is that whether our family ever gets moved into a new home or not, the good life is still here. If I ever get that house set up the way I want it to be or not, the Living Water is still there. Even if for some reason we can't replace the 80s floral wallpaper and the horrible orange-ish pinkish carpet, Jesus is still there, holding out a cup of the kingdom to enjoy today.

I think today I'll work on being still and tasting as much as I can.

Bob  – (19 June 2009 at 11:11)  

And the people said "Amen to the glory of God."

Sarah  – (20 June 2009 at 09:26)  

Truly. Amen.

Yeah, I think the only thing we get to check off of our eternal list is claiming Jesus as our Savior, and yes, his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Refreshing water for mile #4 of the marathon. I love it.

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