Saturday, December 28, 2013

TJ3: When Reality Strikes

It just hit me: the reality of this trip still hasn't hit me.

Langston Hughes said it best:

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat? 

Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags 
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Or does it, perhaps, remain a dream and only evermore a dream? 
Does it refuse to enter the realm of the real?

I hope, in my case, that reality hits BEFORE the trip is over. I've dreamed of this trip for so long, saved and planned only to have my plans come to nothing, that I'd given up on it ever happening. Even now, something deep inside me is afraid to hope, afraid of a last-minute change in plans, afraid that my dream will once again be deferred. Not until my feet are on Israeli soil will I relax, will I believe.  

I do not want to emulate Thomas. Like me he avowed, "Not until I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, will I believe" (John 20:25). Poor Thomas, who was so afraid of disappointment that he missed the joy of the Resurrection as he wasted precious days languishing in sorrow and despair. 

But it would be even worse to suffer the fate of those who waited all their lives for their Messiah and then went to their graves still waiting, still dreaming, unaware that their dream had been fulfilled. As Jesus said to those inhabitants of Jerusalem so many years ago, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes....because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you" (Luke 19:42-44).  

What a shame it would be, if I were to miss this entire experience because of a refusal to recognize it for what it is!

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