Sojourning in Denver

My wife, Carole, and I recently moved to Denver, CO from Sheboygan, WI and in doing so we left a city with a population of approximately 50,000 and came to a city with a population of approximately 3.6 million. Needless to say many things have changed dramatically compared to what we were used to.
Now please understand, I think that Colorado (the state in which I was born and raised, living here my first 30 years) is a beautiful state with beautiful mountains, lakes, streams, scenery, etc. It’s also home to a number of my family members (including four grand-children) and so there’s much to enjoy and be glad about. That being said, as I told Carole a few days ago, “The thing that I like most about living in Denver, is that I hate it.”
I hate spending two-and-a-half hours on I-25 going from southeast Denver to Colorado Springs (about 65 miles). I hate the brown cloud that blocks the view of the mountains on most days. I hate the effects of sin which are multiplied whenever and wherever a whole bunch of sinners live together in one place, whether it’s Denver, Dallas, L.A or wherever else it might be. I hate that Denver area house prices are insanely expensive. I hate that rent for a two-bedroom apartment is more than double what we paid for our monthly mortgage back in Sheboygan for a really nice house. I hate that our car insurance payment has more than doubled due to the fact that we now live in Denver even though neither Carole nor myself have ever submitted an insurance claim or had a ticket in over 30 years.
But then, with all of that which I hate about living in Denver comes this reminder (which I love); THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME!
In Hebrews 11:8-10 we’re told, “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles (tents) with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
So, for 100 years Abraham and his family lived in a strange country, in tents, all the while keeping their mind’s eye fixed upon a much better place, even a heavenly one wherein they would dwell forevermore in the presence of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Had everything been wonderful for them while in the land of promise, had they been able to build a more permanent home which contained all of the modern amenities of that day and age, had their neighbors invited them in and embraced them as one of their own, had those and similar things been attained, they may have looked a whole lot more to life in the here and now and a whole lot less to the city yet to come, and to be honest, the same is true for you and me.
We can (and too often do) give into the temptation of seeking to find heaven on earth while forgetting that whether we currently live in a place we love, or a place we hate, this world is not our home and we too need to keep our mind’s eye fixed on the city whose builder and maker is God. We need to remind ourselves daily that we are merely sojourners while here on earth, and that in the end this life is but a vapor – here one minute and gone the next.
As the French theologian from the 1400’s, Jacque d’Etaples, said, ‘to be with Christ is to be in the land promised to the fathers…’ and that’s true since only IN HIM do we find our place of eternal rest. And so, even though there are things here in Denver which I hate (and also things that I enjoy and am glad about), my prayer is that God will use where we currently live as a reminder that our real home is with Him in heaven, and that while we’re still here on this earth that we will “sojourn well,” seeking always to do His will as church planters and as faithful servants of the Most High King.

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