A while back, I was rooting around in an old memory box looking for something (anyone else have one of them? I have several – old shoeboxes in a trunk in the hall, stuffed with old photos, cards and notes from friends, tickets to gigs, mementos from travels… reminders of days gone by and adventures long forgotten) when I came across this card from one of my university flatmates.
It’s funny how it happens, slap-bang in the middle of the mundane. I wasn’t looking for it, but there it was – jumped up and right hit me square between the eyes. I don’t even remember it being that special to me first time round, although something somewhere in my heart must have treasured it somehow to have stashed it all these years, only to be rediscovered today of all days.
“Who knows where it ends????” she’d written inside, all hope and youthful college optimism.
Before the bills, before the babies, before the every day and the ordinary crowded out the sunrise smile of the young, waking each morning to the yawning possibilities that life offered up to ready, eager, grabbing hands.
“Who knows where it ends?”
And God whispered “Who knew?”
Did I know? Where I’d been, what I’d seen, where I was now? Could I have ever planned it this way? The adventure that this life has been thus far? Would I have planned it this way? Goodness knows…. God knows…..
And sometimes suddenly, his fingerprints on the journey of your life show up sweet, like dust caught dancing on air in rays of sunlight. They’re always there, but only sometimes, when you turn your head just so and the sun catches them – and there! There they are! The fingerprints of the Creator throughout your life’s journey. They were there all along – He was there all along.
Our God, our guide, our life.
And so we journey on. Knowing if God was there, he will also be here. An invisible thread running through all of our stories – Abba Father, who loves us more than we can ever know. Who promises that he has a plan – a good one – and that he works through all things for the good of those that love him.
Some days it feels like a sunny stroll under the pleasant shade of the trees. And so we offer upturned faces to the sun, and smile. Breathe deep, rest, linger. Walk on a while along the avenue towards the sun.
Some days it is a struggle. The trees block the sun’s light from our faces and we push on, cold.
Keep pushing on, keep pushing up through the darkness and into the light, because who knows where this journey will end?
It can feel like being caught underwater. You know – when a barrel drags you under and suddenly the sun is gone. Air is gone. We tumble round and round, disorientated and not knowing what way is up. And so we kick up from the deep, reaching through the water, keeping our eyes on the small dot of light above, growing larger and larger as we swim and kick and lungs burn. Are we drowning? Will we make it? Can we get back to the sunlight, the air, life. Straining and kicking, our arms reach up and break the surface, mouth gasping, inhaling large, hard gulps of air into empty lungs. And life fills us once more.
I’m not sure what ‘the end’ is, but I want to keep on pushing up into the light. And when the pushing feels a little harder? And God’s fingerprints are not so visible? When my heart feels a little more restless, a little less peaceful, like I want more somehow.
Then, I choose to press on into him who is perfect peace. To draw closer to the one who brings rest to my soul. Because the truth is: rest and peace and fulfillment don’t come from things – a new church, a new place to live, a new job, a new adventure, a new project – rest and peace and fulfillment come from an intimate indwelling of the One that is all peace.
I choose to wait, quietly, expectantly, patiently. I will choose to be found in Him.
Because only He knows where the journey ends.