Saturday, 3 August 2013

Clapping the Sun.

I was 18, it was my first summer after collage and I had come to the Cultural Shift conference in Southampton gathering gathering with young Christians from around the UK. In the central hall. It was there dancing to the sounds of Andy Hunter that I knew I had to go to Ibiza. It was like a silent voice right in the depths of my soul. 
A few weeks later I found myself stepping out of the plain into the warm heat and cloudless skies. I had joined a group of Christians who came to the island to pray and share the love of God with party goers. Full of faith and energy, I believed  God could do anything - even answer the secret prayers of my heart that I dared only whisper. It was like Christianity on Red Bull. We prayed late into the nights, danced our worship as DJs played, gave out fruit in the streets and helped drunk people stumble home to their hotels. 
Those two weeks changed me in a way nothing else ever has. They ruined me for the ordinary filled my mind and heart with crazy dreams and set me on a Wild Goose Chase following the whispers of God. 

Ten years have passed since then, and my world has changed in a thousand ways. The Red Bull has warn off and a dazed hangover remains. I was so sure of everything back then, even in despair I had answers. One day... I believed it. God would make things right. Ten years later Many of those secret prayers still remain. And the confident One day sometimes feels like a futile dream. Still though the chase goes on, and the whispers still... whisper. A verse from the psalms still rings in my ears... 'Delight yourself in The Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.' The psalmist writes. But delighting in God is not always easy especially in the mist of questions and disappointments. And recognising the desires of your heart is a greater mystery still. Ten years on I wonder is this really a promise I can trust? 

Huge crowds had come to see as the sun slowly make its way down to the horizon. Hundreds had gathered on the sea front in the city of Zadar. Listening to the surreal sounds of the sea organ - a series of tubes that tunnelled down the the water and each played different notes as the waves came. When the sun finally dipped bellow the great expanse of the Adriatic Sea a spontaneous applause erupted from the crowds. 

I could have closed my eyes and been back in Ibiza amongst the rocks on SunSet Strip, Cafe DelMar playing Baleric beats behind us and fire spinners whirling flames to the side. I remember thinking back then when i first heard the applause. If only they would lift their eyes a little higher, to the one that made the sun...

Sometimes it's the simple things that set our hearts ablaze. Back in Zadar Sat on my tricycle instead of the rocks I asked myself the same question I asked of the crowds all those years ago. Will I lift my eyes a little higher? Sometimes it hurts your eyes to gaze apon the sun. Sometimes believing hurts, hope hurts, love even... hurts. 

Will I lift my eyes a little higher? Dare to believe where there is doubt, hope when it feels like its all run out, will I whisper again those secret prayers, and will I love... Again?

It's a question I ask myself almost daily. Even this morning as I sit in the town of Trogir eating breakfast, watching the ships and writing these thoughts. Keep Walking is written across the side of the van loading onto a ship. Sometimes I think that's all we can do. 

One day I might put my hands up. Say Enough! But it doesn't have to be today. Today I can still hope and dream and whisper my secret prayers, believing there is one who answers. As the day ends I clap the sun... And lift my eyes a little higher.

1 comment:

  1. Still following your adventures Josh...sometimes very scary,like when you met the bear...but your writing is getting better and better I tell you!!