This post has been quite a long time coming. My heart has been busting at the seams and empty at the same time. Home is such a relative term, and I still feel less at home here in the states than I do halfway across the world. However, it is against my nature to stop learning, and I have definitely continued in my quest to be a healthier and more Spirit led person. This has been a trying time for me, and sometimes I take that to mean that my gift of teaching has to be put on pause. Well, pause over. Blogging is one outlet for my desire to share knowledge (and hopefully some wisdom too). I cannot wait to start speaking to a more “visible” audience soon, but for now…enjoy this post.
So as some of you know, I was able to explore Italy in November for a week with some girlfriends. We hit Rome, Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii, and Venice! It was a physically exhausting week for sure, but just so incredible. Rome was at the beginning of our trip, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Rome is self-named “the eternal city”, and for good reason! There are visual reminders of history there that occurred while the early church was booming and as they were persecuted for their faith. Since, I’m from a fairly new developed country, history going that far back is mind-blowing to me. As a looked, learned about, and photographed the remaining ruins of the ancient Roman world I started to put together this revelation:
If we marvel and call “beautiful” the ruins of world that clearly isn’t eternal, how much more beautiful and amazing will the new Jerusalem be?! How awe-struck will we be when we see a city designed by God that really WILL last forever?! I imagine a crowd of us with our lower jaws hanging as we stare, mesmerized by the one true “eternal city.”
“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.” Revelation 21:10-11
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:3-5
Before all that happens though, consider this:
When we accept Christ into our hearts and become a child of God, our eternal life starts right away…but we don’t have to wait to start participating in the eternal. As children of God, we become royalty by adoption. As a result, we are privileged and charged to take part in the everlasting kingdom of God HERE and NOW on earth!
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
As you start this new year filled with new resolve, don’t stare too closely at what is right in front of you. Whether its a deadline, a temptation, the mirror, financial goals, the scal, or anything else. Look beyond.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
That said, here are some photos of Rome. As you take in the beauty of what is passing away, be filled with wonder as you think about the beauty we are able to encounter and the beauty we have yet to witness. Oh, and thank God that he wired us to even appreciate beauty! This world is full of it!