One of my favorite albums is a tastefully deep, yet not well known, CD from Michael Card called “Poiema”. Lately, a song from that collection has been going through my head. The song is called: “Things We Leave Behind”, and it talks about abandon and reflects on the calling of the 12 Disciples by Christ. The line that keeps resonating in my mind is a line that melodiously says, “It’s hard to imagine the freedom we find from the things that we leave behind.”

The things that we leave behind don’t need to be negative things to experience freedom when leaving them. When we agree with the Apostle Paul to want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings unto attaining the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:10-11), the reality is that the things that are going to die in us(vs 10) are not just the bad things but the good things as well (vs’ 7-8). The reality is that when we follow we are changed. That is, when Christ calls us, it is not about what we are leaving behind, but rather what He is forming in us. I say this because I really sense a slow swell building in the ocean of our season in Atlanta. I know that this swell will soon crest into a wave that will take us to somewhere different and life-changing. As I look around I see friends and a history that has shaped Marissa and I in this season of our lives, there is the inherent sense of the intense change that has been lying dormant, but is soon to come to life with all of its sadness, excitement and even joy. We are going to terribly miss our friends and our family in Atlanta, we’ve already begun missing them. It would be inhuman for us not to experience the ache of being separated from dear friends and loving family. We also know, though, that this loss will bring to fruition attributes and character in us that are a part of the act of Christ reigning and ruling in us. That this loss of proximity to those we love will actually help our hearts come alive. This is a joy set before us…the kind of joy that makes you endure a death in order to have it.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2-3