“However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
Not long ago, I sat down to watch Elizabeth: The Golden Age. The story is well-known to many but fairly new to me. I’m not a history enthusiast, although I am drawn to its memoirs via the silver screen. There’s something majestic and grand about visiting another era. When crafted well, “period pieces” etch their eccentricity into my soul, leaving me breathless for more.
The intrigues of yesterday’s “long-ago and far-away” are a worthy pause. They reveal truth by framing the past within the present. They trace our ancestral beginnings to our now, weaving a path of incomprehensible moments that lead us to this one moment in time. A day called today, when every yesterday bears the worthy trust of a purpose and a plan.
We couldn’t see it then because we didn’t live it then. Our lives were meant for this generation, but we are the witnesses to what remains—those blossomed remnants from a long-ago seeding that have fed our imaginations and scripted their influence into our current. Whether it be 500 years ago or five days ago, the past hosts the stage for the right now … for the future.
In one particular moving scene from Elizabeth, the Queen is listening to the wild rantings of explorer extraordinaire, Sir Walter Raleigh. He is describing the depth of what it was like for him to discover the new world. The tempestuous seas. The brittle cold. The weary nights and days and days and nights of water upon water with no land in sight. His is a compelling story, crescendoing with every detail until he unveils the moment of his discovery—the virgin vision of land in sight.
It is an edenic moment, one that scripts with the lush and green and wild of a fresh unearthing.
Elizabeth is undone with the telling, imagining the far-away and what it must be like to live within the edges of such adventure. With tears brimming from emotion, she voices the penchant of her heart…
“Do we discover the new world, Mr. Raleigh, or does the new world discover us?”
And with that question, I am undone. It’s a worthy wondering, for before me … before each one of us … is a brave, new and unseen world offering up its invitation to come. To set our sails in a new direction that is fraught with the unknown and the unimaginable.
Who can really plan for a sea’s crossing in advance? Who can measure the depth of the dark and the waves and the ill-effects of climate shift prior to departure? Who can reason the sun’s heat and thirst of a long journey? Who can forecast the wide open skies of a sea’s starry night or the brushstrokes of a horizon’s morning? Who can fathom the ups and the downs and the side to sides of a watery perimeter? Who can fully comprehend the completed journey even before it begins? Who can see the new world prior to leaving the old?
God can. He did, and he continues to do so. On our behalf and on behalf of those who’ve come before and those who are soon to follow. He sees it all, from beginning to end—the new world. It commenced on the shores of his sacred understanding; it will finish accordingly. But sandwiched in between those eternal bookends?
A sea’s crossing. A journey’s now. From coast to coast, where faith becomes the wind that sails us home into safe harbor.
Do we discover the new world, or does the new world discover us?
Yes and yes.
It’s not that it hasn’t been there all along. Its shores have always sung. Its land has always known the generous breathing of a big and mighty God. Its width and length and heighth and depth have been measured and established by the wisdom of its Creator and sustained accordingly. The inconceivable has been conceived by the only mind capable of holding such vision.
And if we, by the grace of God, have set our sights on Jesus, then with every passing day, in unsuspecting and unimaginable ways, we catch glimpses of the harbor that stands on the horizon. A reachable Eden that scripts with the lush and green and wild of a fresh unearthing.
The new world and us. An unlikely coupling. A joint discovery on both counts. Together, a profound weaving that breathes and brims with unending possibility and with the breathless yearning for more.
More nights of stars and days of horizons, piece by piece until we arrive on the shores of the new world, and we trade in our weary remnants for the full dressing of our forever.
Who can fathom the worth of such a journey? I am compelled to try, for long ago and far away, in another era it seems, God’s love called out his invitation for me to come. A “period piece” from my history that etched its eccentricity into my soul. I’ve been sailing its waters ever since. It’s been a worthy row, friends, and one that is drawing me ever closer to my discovery of the new world. I bet you could voice the same. May God keep us, everyone, to the journey until we land in the seen reality of our unseen and wild imaginings. It won’t be long, thus I pray…
Bring us home, Father God, into safe harbor with you. Keep our eyes fixed on the horizon instead of the sea that seeks to drown our faith in the process. Thank you for the process of discovery and for the vision that you’ve seeded in our hearts for the inconceivable realities that you conceived on our behalf long ago. Your grace is the unimaginable gift that allows us participation in the new world. It leaves me breathless and with a heart of thanksgiving for the life I’ve been allowed. Keep me grateful. Keep me mindful. Keep me moving forward, straight into your arms. Amen.
Copyright © November 2008 – Elaine Olsen. All rights reserved
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! I will be traveling this week and plan on stepping away from the computer for a few days. Enjoy some turkey and some fellowship with family and friends. I am thankful for you, my blogging companions, who have spent the better part of 9 months on the journey with me. What a joy to share this road with pilgrims like you! I mean that. Shalom.