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stamped.

I’ve never done a blog post from an airplane, so here it goes. Last time I checked (which I try to do sparingly) I’m was T-minus 10 hours out from Newark. Currently, Russia is under my feet and it’s been quite a ride… quite the bumpy ride. Early lunch was typical airplane food, some sort of beef with some sort of dark pepper sauce, rice, and some sort of Chinese cabbage…thing. Oh, and one carrot slice finished it off. It would be nice if there was a correlation between the plane ticket price and the quality of food. Oh well. So far, my legs have yet to fall asleep and I finally watched Avatar (didn’t mind it at all). All is well in seat 35E.

I’ve always wondered why these flights don’t have WIFI. They have powered seats, but no WIFI. I’ve been on a two hour domestic flight that allowed me to surf the web from 33,00 feet, but when I have 15 hours, I’m stuck catching up on podcasts and watching old movies. Maybe I’ll write Continental airlines.

You have a lot of time to think on these flights.

Our church in HK is going through the book of Philippians over the next 10 weeks and it’s been nothing short of amazing. My mind is returning to truth that was spoken last night and, of course, it’s based around Paul’s attitude in prison. Brett expounded on how we are haunted with one question over and over again in life, “do I matter?” “Does anyone really pay attention to me?” “If I just vanished one afternoon, would anyone miss me?”

It’s human nature to value and yearn for acceptance. “If I just get the promotion I’d be set,” or “if I could just get that girl, I’d be somebody.” Motivation drives countless things in our lives, doesn’t it? Paul, shackled in a dingy prison cell, could have easily misplaced his joy, purpose, and motivation, but he did quite the opposite.

Let’s think about this for a moment.

Here Paul is… once Saul let me remind you, at the top of his game in the church-planting world now, winning people for the gospel, surrounded by miracles, and then WHAM, he becomes best friends with a humiliating prison cell. What does he do? Complain? Nope. He begins writing encouraging letters full of hope and recipes for joy in this life to the church. He writes about a joy that is not thwarted by circumstance. What?

Why didn’t Paul lose heart? In his humanity, could he have asked the question, “well, now that I’ve been reduced to criminal status, what will people think of me?” “Has my life been all for not?” Instead, he leaves us with a glorious perspective… because of Christ; whether I live or die, it is all gain. It’s almost humorous to picture Paul genuinely wrestling with indecision as he contemplates breath or the grave.

Brett reminded us that whether we know the atoning rescue of the cross or not, eternity has been stamped on our hearts. He has marked us as His beloved.

Why on earth are we so addicted to vain glory? Whether you or I make 1 million a year or 15K a year, we are accepted. Paul is saying, “hey, look at me, I’m in prison writing to you, and my hope is secure!” “I don’t need any other acceptance or satisfaction other than Christ.”

He sees me as worthy. He sees me as capable. We have the ultimate motivation to allow our creativity to soar because we know we matter ALREADY.

That was what I was reminded of Sunday night.

3 Comments

  1. Kelley Stevens
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 11:50 am | #

    Zach…love your heart and your writing. You always manage to sock me in the gut. I’m going to go to IECC’s site and listen to that sermon series. May your time back in the states be blessed…I hope you get more niece snuggles than you know how to handle!

  2. Nancy Benson
    Posted May 4, 2010 at 8:11 am | #

    You do matter to the ONLY one that matters.

  3. Posted May 15, 2010 at 12:22 pm | #

    Seriously needed this in my current season of life! Thanks for sharing! Miss and love you!

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