Bags packed. ✔️ Boarding passes printed. ✔️House locked. ✔️TSA traversed.✔️
We found two vacant seats, parked our carry-ons and sat. Whew.
A quiet Voice gained my attention,“Why are you so uptight? Reset your perspective.”
I pulled out the earbuds and wedged them in my ears, then found an app a friend shared (Pray As You Go). Music sang with rich depth in my ears. I closed my eyes and gave myself to it and to the readings interspersed with the music.
The Voice nudged again, “Don’t miss the boarding call.”
I pulled out one earbud. Now I could hear both the devotional and the airport intercom, but it was difficult to pay attention to both.
Isn’t this situation a lot like life? Jesus wants us to listen to the loud speaker, grocery shop, and work among the world, while our inner core abides in heaven. We must plant one foot on earth and one in heaven.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:15-17
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:20-21
It’s hard to balance a foot in each world. When I kept an ear on the airport goings-on, every interruption stomped on the devotion’s peace. My feet tangled too, because I can’t always tell if it’s my Lord speaking or the world’s loudspeaker. Jesus’ prayer in the quote from John gives the way to disentangle and balance. He prays for us to be sanctified in truth, that is, informed and transformed by truth. What truth? The truth found in scripture. By mulling over the scriptures, which give Jesus’ living example to emulate and the Holy Spirit’s help, we can live in the world without copying its behaviors or beliefs.
Even with the Bible and the Holy Spirit giving it life within us, our dual citizenship is difficult to manage. I see this battle portrayed in Dimitri Shostakovich’s seventh symphony, which he wrote during WWII in Russia. https://open.spotify.com/track/1GwhgiNsf0eMWmJUk8ehir?si=jZ1RfMqzSuOqlkG1NehM9A
In the first movement, I believe he juxtaposes war’s brutality and chaos (the invasion of the world) with the joy and warmth he has for his homeland. At around 8:30, the theme of hope and confidence rides the melody while a military drum lightly taps. At around 12:15, the melody becomes progressively grotesque, until at 14:00, boots and bombs trample and make a parody of everything beautiful and dependable, even life itself. Then the miracle begins to bloom at 15:30. The war is not yet won, but a resurgence of hope alternately grows and wanes, until, with decided will and acceptance of sorrow, the homeland ultimately triumphs.
Our sanctification, that process that slowly molds our character to better reflect Jesus, surges and wanes, stomped by the world then grows in confidence in our God just like the music. And like the music, we must persevere and accept our fallen state but hope for what will surely come.
Dmitri Shostacovich. Symphony No. 7 in C Major Leningrad: 1 Allegretto