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Days of longing for a better and far country

There are days when the momentum of the train I’ve been riding has come to a crashing halt and it’s all I can do just to get it back on the tracks, much less moving again. Days like today. Days of no great tragedy or woe or wrong-ness, but days of life piled high in laundry, dishes, dog-haired floors, paper piles, growing weeds, aching tiredness, hinting revelations lost in weariness and cloudy but rainless skies. A sense of this-is-not-the-way-it-should-be. Days of longing. Days where I turn off the TV (even the muted Weather Channel), take out Andrew Peterson’s The Far Country and crank it as loud as I dare in the suburban neighborhood in which I dwell.

“They did not receive the things promised,” Peterson cites from Hebrews in the CD jacket, speaking of the faithful who came before Jesus:
They only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has preapered a city for them (Hebrews 11:13-16).
These are days I long for a better country, one in which I already-dwell-but-am-yet-to-dwell. These are days when I sit for just a bit in order to remember my heart beats like Peterson’s Little Boy Heart Alive:

Open the door and run outside/Your little boy heart alive/Into the morning light/Into the deep and wide/Dinasaur bones in the flowerbed/Rockets in the clouds/In a fight with a spider’s web/Tunnels in the ground/Winding to China/To the mist of the distant shore/Better be home by suppertime/Back through the planet core

Feel the beat of a distant thunder/It’s the sound of an ancient song/This is the Kingdom calling/Come now and tread the dawn

Come to the Father/Come to the deeper well/Drink of the water/And come to live a tale to tell/Pages are turning now/This is abundant life/The joy in the journey/Is enough to make a grown man cry/With a little boy heart alive

Kings and catles in the neighborhood/Swords on the forest floor/Dragons in the magic wood/Better saddle your battle horse/Fighting Goliath/Better choose your weapons right/Five little stones and a faith on fire/In a little boy heart alive

Met a kid at the railroad track/He had a stick and nylon sack/I ran to the house to pack/I wanted to follow/Take a ride on the mighty lion/Take a hold of the golden mane/This is the love of Jesus/So good but it is not tame

Ever the road goes on and on and on.

(John 10:10, Matthew 19:14, John 4:13, 14)

Music is a holy magic of sorts, a way to make and dwell and reflect on the truth we know but so often let slip away in the days of life piled high. On days like these, it makes me remember the feel of the beat of a distant thunder, drink up the sound of an ancient song. It makes me remember to tread the dawn, choose my weapons right, take a ride on the mighty lion. It makes remember the joy is in journey. It makes my little girl heart alive.

Thank you, Jesus, for whispering into Andrew Peterson’s ear so I can hear you too.

(Image: Andrew Peterson; currently Peterson’s web site lists a sale of Far Country for $2 each when you buy 5 or 10 of them. Good gifts folks—or split with friends)