Thoughts from Russ.... This trip often seems crazy, and it is easy for this country boy who hates crowds and can't tolerate bad engineering and chaos too well to get REALLY grumpy here. Almost went over the grumpy edge today... but then I had a few moments with Rachel and the sheer wonder and joy in her already blows me away and makes it all worth it.
Rachel is in complete awe and wonder for this world around her. I joked to Allison that we "Make all things new" for her. And the more I think about it the more I realize that is completely true. She has never seen an escalator, mall, water fountain, a dog, cat, boats, birds all over, pizza, etc... its endless around here and its so awesome to be able to share these moments of complete awe and wonder with her as we walk through the streets. And she is eager to try everything and completely on fire!
If you think about it... its also a perfect picture of what God must see in us when we realize He is our savior and king. When we submit our hearts to Him, our view of this world is transformed and HE truly makes all things new for us. He must have these same feelings of joy that I have when I see Rachel enjoying the discovery of her new world. God is amazing and is showing me an amazing picture! Her new life has begun!
This verse puts it really well:
2 Corinthians 5:13-16 - NLT
13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!