“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”
This is the opening line of L.P. Harley’s book “The Go-Between”
I went to our Ottertail Community Writer’s Group this past Monday and we did an exercise my friend Heidi created. From a wide selection of little slips of paper we chose one to write about. All of these slips of paper contained the opening statements or lines of famous books from the past. Then we had 20 minutes to write down our thoughts. I chose my slip, sat back down, and began to write. This is what I wrote.
Though I’ve never read this book, L.P. Harley’s statement jumped out to me as something I wish I had written myself. Not because of its eloquence or intrigue, but simply because I had a personal connection with those words. And though I must admit I have never even heard of The Go-Between or L.P. Harley, I understood what those words meant.
It only takes a trip backwards through time about six years for me to be in that foreign country. I called it home back then. And maybe that is what is so ironic about it all. My life was different there. I was different. It was a bubble that I was familiar with and quite comfortable in. It also, in part, kept me from discovering not only more about what was already written on my heart, but discovering who the Lord is.
As I look at these words again, I find joy. Joy in knowing that no matter where you are, there is always the opportunity to be learning, growing, and seeking the truth. How could your past not be seen as a foreign country when you serve a God who is always revealing himself in new and incredible ways? Ways that change who you are and how you see things, how you see the world, and how you see eternity.
Of course, now I’m left wondering what land I will be living in 10 years from now. Will it look as foreign to me as it did a decade ago? Then I am reminded of a glorious day that approaches. The day is coming where all things will be made new and everything in my life that has ever felt foreign will disappear. I will finally be home where I will discover the truest of realities as I see Jesus face-to-face.
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