I was taken aback by the passengers. Our Delta flight from Narita, Japan to Bangkok was full of them.
The ones on the fringe.
The aging male couple, so full of apparent gaiety that you almost missed the sadness in their eyes.
The elderly British couple. Their tweed jackets and pile of books said intellectual. The man’s use of a notebook-sized magnifying glass in addition to his substantial spectacles spoke of diminishing faculties.
The bohemians with the head scarves.
The young people with the intricately shaved patterns in their short hair.
The tattooed who had turned their skin into a statement.
Those with ravaged faces from a lifetime of taking in too many substances.
I had never seen such a collection all in one place.
And then I realized what this was about.
Thailand. Maybe the closest approximation to Paradise on earth. The fragranced air. The vibrant tropical flowers, ubiquitous, even in the squalid slums. The balmy, moist climate. Beauty in all corners: majestic mountains, teeming ocean, verdant life everywhere.
Thailand is The Garden of Eden, minus the cherubim guarding the entrance with the flaming swords.
We were all banished from it, yet we all long for it. The goodness, the freedom, the pleasure, the beauty, the glory of that place called Paradise.
“He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecc. 3:11
It’s elusive to the natural man. So we try to find it anyway we know how. We try as many methods as we can to experience it, and by the end of our lives, some of us are left with but one option. Hop a plane and go there.
But where we land is not the real thing. Yes it’s a picture He has graciously given us, but it is a shadow of the real thing.
I wanted to shout to them, “Yes you CAN go home again. He has made a way. The path is narrow, but His yoke is easy and His burden is light.”
To say, “Stop trying to find your life. Lose it to Him. “
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” Jas 4:10
He’ll lift you up so that you can taste and see the real Paradise. Dimly now at first. But with His promise that it will be yours. Utterly. Completely. And forever with Him.