I just flew back from a desperately needed 5-day sabbatical in the mountains. We were finishing work on a group Strategic Lifeplan experience that I believe God is going to use to reorient the lives of many and provide incredible momentum in the advancement of His mission here on earth. It felt like a foretaste of the coming Kingdom where experiential knowledge, inspired constructs, and unique gifting met as beautiful complements.
During a quick stopover in Salt Lake City, I met a kindly lady in an airport gift shop. My empirical curiosity forced me to dig a little deeper on the source of her sadness and eastern European accent.
ME: “Where are you from, originally.”
SHE: “I moved from Albania.”
ME: “How long ago?”
SHE: “About 15 years ago.”
ME: “Great. What brought you here?” (I responded as if she had just said she moved from Dallas.)
SHE: “My family was fleeing the war in Kosovo and the ethnic cleansing.”
I sometimes wear my ignorance like a fedora. Felted brilliance with long feather that screams that this one isn’t quite like the others and really doesn’t have a clue about how he comes across. “Dumb-ass!” was quickly whispered as I unconsciously referenced the wounding of my youth.
She carried both the experience and sobriety that transcended not only the airport gift shop, but my entire western culture sensibility. She was born into a world at war and viscerally understood, far better than I, both the privilege and cost of freedom.
As I reflected in the coveted bulkhead seat of my last leg, I was taken back to the point of my rescue. Tragedy and darkness abruptly disrupted by blinding light. The freshness and tender nature of all that was wrong being made right in a single moment. How easily I had forgotten the early season of my “nothing will ever be the same.”
I may have a hope in the coming Kingdom that my Albanian acquaintance, Mirjeta, didn’t appear to have, but she has a cornerstone experience that is essential to all of us who believe. We were born into a world at war and we will live all of our days there. The context of that reality in the story we live in, makes it all the more brilliant and easier to understand.
Understanding the experiential currency of the story we’ve lived as the subtext of the larger one and interpreting the role we were uniquely created to play, is the very essence of the Strategic Lifeplan process that found me in the mountains. Helping others find the clarity and momentum I’ve found through understanding my particular role in His larger story, is the reason I exist.
It would be really helpful to be mindful of the fact that it is really Kosovo (and not Dallas) that we are all ultimately from and where we live every day.