I stood in the kitchen looking out the window as the rain mimicked the tears on my cheeks. The lyrics echoed loud and clear against the struggle in my own soul, "I will sing, sing, sing til all else fades away ..." One month into our big move across the pond, and I was experiencing my own little version of culture shock.
England was not supposed to be this different from the U.S. I simply wanted a cup of coffee how I enjoy it, flavored with Cold Stone cream. I wanted to listen to my music and not be told Pandora didn't work outside the U.S. I "needed" a vehicle to escape in to get three antsy pixies out of the house. And, I would really love a washing machine that doesn't take 2.5 hours to run a cycle.
But the words continue, "You are good always, You are always the reason ..."
In that moment it was impossible to worship God without everything else fading away ... all the little conveniences I had taken for granted while living stateside. All that I could see was Him, and His glory.
And one by one, I felt those things I was holding onto so tightly in my hand, the security of having a car, the pleasure of a good cup of coffee, the ability to manage the laundry pile, slip away and out of my fisted hand.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in The Cost of Discipleship, said Christians are to be like strangers passing through the country on a sealed train. This country is not my home. America is not even my home. My home is behind the sun, sealed in Him Who wraps Himself in light.
I'm just passing through at a speed I don't always comprehend, here today and gone tomorrow, like the grass of the field. These things are all momentary, transitory in nature, fading away. But what will not fade away is this treasure, sealed in jars of clay.
In his life sermon, Joshua charges the Israelites on how they should live, set apart for the Lord. In Joshua 23:8 he says, "But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have until now."
The only way that all else can fade away is if you are holding fast to something else. What will that be? Will it be the security of a car? The pleasure of a creamy cup of coffee? The ability to listen to Pandora without geographical restrictions?
If I am holding fast to those things, they can never fade away.
But, if I hold fast to Him Who is immovable, to the One Who does not change like shifting shadows, I become immovable, set apart. Everything else fades away.
G. K. Chesterton wisely said, "Those who marry the spirit of the age will become widowers in the next." To whom is my soul betrothed? Momentary pleasures from my earthly country, or to the One Who is preparing for me a home behind the sun.
I will sing, sing, sing, until all else fades away; slowly, steadily, surely. All else fades away, when the Light casts its shadow upon it.