Just one more day until I set off to an adventure that has been 74 years in the making. As I sit here and contemplate everything I need to include for the trip, my thoughts seem endless. What do I need to pack? I even found a three page list of things to consider. I printed it off and highlighted the items I needed to include from it. From past experience, I know that there are always things that I wished I would have brought but didn’t, but I will be totally out of my familiar territory and won’t necessarily be able to just pick up what I might need.
It seems that everyday something else pops up that I hadn’t thought of. Just two days ago I got an email from my church, needing for me to fill out an information form for my health insurance to cover me in a foreign country. As it worked out I had a visit from my health provider and found out that my present insurance wouldn’t cover me in a foreign country. Just another reason to be a part of a team that is experienced in making such trips. Even as I am typing this blog I just got a note from my trip insurance Company for additional information they need for the insurance.
Since I am going to a part of the world that I am totally unfamiliar with, I decided to look up the area and learn something that would make my trip richer. I discovered that this particular area is the center of produce (fruit and vegetables) for China. Its importance goes back for thousands of years. That piece of information may not seem important to you but it rang a bell to me. You see I was raised in Palisade, Colorado which was the peach capitol of the world at one time. It is an oasis of fruit and vegetable because of its 300 days per year of sunshine and its irrigation system and I worked in it all year. My day operated the 4 largest produce outlets in the valley and I became spoiled with the best that was available. I pruned the fruit trees, irrigated plowed, thinned picked and even bought and sold it. Now I get to see how they do it in another culture and I am so looking forward to tasting it for myself.
When I arrive there in a couple days from now, I will be much like a new born baby. Little hair, few teeth, can’t speak the language, and won’t know my way around. Yet babies make it and so can I. I was thinking about the journey a baby makes in its arrival to this world from the world of the womb. It is all so strange and takes a lot of adjustment. I was also thinking about our arrival into the spiritual world. It doesn’t begin after physical death but after the death of the old man that Paul referenced in Romans.
Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
This new life begins at our salvation when we become the new creation of God. (II Cor 5:17) Just as a newborn has to learn how see, hear, speak, etc., we also have to learn how to operate in the spiritual life. That spiritual existence actually begins here in this world where God is transforming us into His image, likeness and dominion. That process is know as sanctification and isn’t completed until we receive our new body and we meet the Lord in the air. It is much like the gestation period of a pregnancy in which the fetus receives its body for this life. Our physical death can also be compared to the child’s birth when it physically moves from the world of the womb to the world of time and space which we live in now.
As I contemplate the final destination of my trip to China, it only enhances my expectation of my final destination of being with the Lord through eternity.