1992...The year I graduated from college, moved across the state, and started my first "real" (read "college degree required") job. It was also the year Steven Curtis Chapman released "The Great Adventure". I remember the words so well...
Saddle up your horses, we've got a trail to blaze
Through the wild blue yonder of God's amazing grace.
Let's follow our leader into the glorious unknown...
This is life like no other - this is the Great Adventure!
And then the bridge...
We'll travel over, over mountains so high...
We'll go through valleys below.
Still through it all we'll find that
This is the greatest journey that the human heart will ever see;
The love of God will take us far beyond our wildest dreams!
I love to read published diaries and journals. Reading a person's words as they are living life is a totally different experience than reading them as they are looking back later. I remember reading With Love, Edith, for the first time many years ago. The book is a collection of what Mrs. Schaeffer calls "The L'Abri Family Letters", letters written to her family just before and during the founding years of L'Abri Fellowship. It was so fascinating to read her thoughts and experiences just as they were happening...where I as the reader had an idea of what was to come, but she as the writer at the time had none.
I had that same feeling this morning listening to "The Great Adventure" for the first time in a long while. A friend had posted a link to one of SCC's new songs, "Long Way Home". It begins with these words...
I set out on a great adventure
The day my Father started leading me home.
Said there's gonna be mountains to climb
And valleys we're gonna go through,
But I had no way of knowing
Just how hard this journey could be.
Cause the mountains are steeper
And the valleys are deeper than I ever would have dreamed.
As anyone familiar with the Chapman family's story knows, those are not just words. They truly could not have begun to imagine the mountains and valleys their family has experienced in the 20 years since SCC first sang "Saddle up your horses!"...mountaintops including the adoption of their three youngest daughters from China and their international adoptions ministry, and the unimaginable valley of the loss of their little Maria in a tragic accident four years ago. The whole "Re:Creation" album is all about what God has done in their lives in the intervening years, and the deeper meaning some of his older songs have taken on since the 2008 tragedy.
As I listened to both songs this morning...past and present...I thought about the mountains and valleys in my life in the past 20 years, and the many unexpected twists and turns in the road along the way, and of friends who have experienced similar deviations or downright obliteration of their original life plans.
Although I loved much of Steven Curtis Chapman's music as a young adult, I've been even more impacted by his ministry, and that of his wife, Mary Beth, in recent years. Their 2008 Larry King Live interview and Mary Beth's book, Choosing to SEE, were both used greatly by God in my life during a time my family was still reeling from our deepest and most unexpected valley. Although our experiences were very different, so much of what Steven and Mary Beth have said, written, and sung in these last few years has resonated deeply with me. "Long Way Home" was no exception to that.
When we can't take another step
The Father will pick us up and carry us in His arms.
And even on the best days, He says to remember we're not home yet.
So don't get too comfortable
Cause we are just pilgrims passing through.
I know that day is coming,
I know we're gonna be there soon.
I keep on singing and believing
What all of my songs say...
And besides...I love the ukulele! SCC says that this song, and discovering the ukulele, have been like "God just sort of letting me smile with music again." I love that.
So thankful for the reminders today of God's faithfulness in my life and family in the last 20 years, and for the reminders of the things that God has taught me during the deep valleys.
I know we're gonna make it...
Its just the long way home...