Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Mommy, is this Connecticut, too?"

During our first few days in Connecticut, we went on a camping adventure. We stayed in two different campgrounds in the evenings and ran errands during the days. Several times during those first few days, our oldest daughter (5) would look at me with big, curious eyes and arms wide open and ask, "mommy, is this Connecticut, too?" I quickly answered her and got on with what I was doing. She did this at the campground, post office, on campus, at the next campground, and many other places. After the first three or four times, I realized she was really confused as to when Connecticut started and stopped.

For months prior to our move, we shared with the girls about Connecticut and what was going to be there; our new church, our new campus, new students and friends, a new library, and so on. I never thought to give them a head's up that it might appear so different than Virginia. Passing the Welcome to Connecticut sign was helpful for me, but for someone who can't read or understand invisible-yet-actual boundary lines, it was pointless.

She had entered a new part of life and became a little unsure if this was what it was actually supposed to look like- or not. When I shared this with a friend, she thought it sounded similar to what happens to many of us as we enter new phases of life. Think about it.

"Is this what dating is like, too?"
      (Because sometimes it's more confusing, than straightforward.)
"Is this what paying bills is like?"
      (Because it stinks...and they just keep coming!)
"Do we really own this much stuff?"
      (You can read more about that here.)
"Is this how real chocolate tastes?"
      (If you have only tasted Palmer, you need to get out more. Geez.)
"Is this really what house hunting is like?"
      (Because it isn't like the property shows on HGTV, head's up!)
"Is this what marriage is like?"
      (Cause it can be tough and wonderful, all in the same hour.)
"I have been waiting to see what adulthood was all about, is this really it?"
       (You start wishing for kindergarden nap time again.)
"Is this truly how lovely, wonderfully made boots actually feel like? Really, really?"
       (Don't try on a pair unless you are financially prepared to replace your entire shoe collection. Another head's up!)
"Is this what having a newborn is like?"
       (Because I haven't slept or showered in days and the scent-o-puke is really beginning to get to me. Read this!)

Sometime we find ourselves in a place we had been hoping for, waiting for, wishing for....all to be surprised that we a little unsure of what it is actually like in real life. Sometimes we cross into new phases that aren't marked clearly with boundary lines and feel a little unsettled. I bet people were a little shocked and surprised when they met Jesus; seeing him in the flesh, learning from words that came directly from his mouth, hearing his voice, observing his miracles. "Is this really the Messiah I have heard about?"


Matthew 16:13-20 (NLT)

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”“Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

I can imagine people were a little surprised to see who this Jesus actually was. People today are still shocked to find out who this Jesus actually is. 


Sometimes we just find ourselves in a place and realize we are unsure of what it's supposed to look like. 


Thankfully, we can calibrate ourselves to our surroundings- and to the creator of our surroundings- and feel a little more settled. We can keep asking, "is this Connecticut, too?" until we are confident that everywhere we go (for right now) is, indeed, Connecticut...or better yet, "is this really who you are, Jesus?", "did you seriously just ask me to do this, Jesus?" We can keep asking as we learn new aspects of his character, as we keep pushing past the thick, invisible-but-actual separation between our visible world and the spiritual world, as we wrestle with what it means to be adopted by a King. 


Keep asking. 
He'll keep answering. 


And we'll keep exploring parts of Connecticut. 

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