It's a rainy afternoon here in Seoul and I'm sitting upstairs in a Starbucks coffee shop near KONIS in Pyeongchang-dong. College students tap away at their laptops, middle-aged women sip coffee and chat, and the guy in the corner has taken off his sneakers and commandeered two chairs for a nap.
I've just finished drinking a mug of lime passion tea, a wonderful elixir that I discovered last Saturday with my doctor friend Charlie. In a couple of hours I'll be sharing a devotional thought with the staff at KONIS, but what to do in the meantime? I have not brought my computer or any extra books today, because I expect to lug home a set of Sunday school curriculum books home from KONIS in my bookbag. All I have are my study notes and my iPhone which is how I writing my blog at the moment. Somehow more study for my devotional doesn't seem profitable and there are only so many games of spider solitaire that one can play...
I'm having one of those days where everything is going along just fine... but nothing seems to satisfy.
This morning's Greek class on aspects and moods was better than anything I could have planned out imagined. Miraculously, I had seats on both of the buses from the Hagye-dong to Pyeongchang-dong. The tea was delicious, and I am warm, dry, and cozy in this amazing country where God has called me to live. I believe I would experience this same feeling no matter where I was in the world, so geography is not a factor. The Lord is my shepherd, so I lack for nothing...
... and yet what is this feeling?
C.S. Lewis said, "If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world."
This world is not our home, and I think sometimes we get a taste of what heaven is like in our here and now and we find ourselves longing for more.
I think this feeling may be heavenly homesickness.
A few Fridays ago, I used Psalm 42:1, 2 in our Bible class at Yeomyung School - "As a deer longs for flowing streams, so I long for you, God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God?"
David thirsted for God's presence. This thirst is like how we feel when we desire to be with the ones we love but are separated from them by time and distance. For me, this thirst expresses itself as a palpable sensation right here at the base of my sternum, neither pleasant nor unpleasant, just... there.
I know this feeling will go away eventually, or at least fade away to be less noticeable for a while. In the meantime, I'll just be doing the next thing by faith.
That's the topic of today's devotional: Affirming what God has said and done by faith, not living in feelings, natural thinking, or human desires. I don't feel like sharing the Word this afternoon, nevertheless, not my will but God's be done. I'll open my mouth and He will fill it, and this time I have to be with these wonderful teachers will be whatever God wills it to be. Hallelujah! It's the Holy Spirit's work, not mine; I'm just the vessel.
So now, I will take a deep breath and start walking up the hill to the school, mindful of this truth from the New Testament:
"For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven." - Hebrews 13:14 (TLB)