Even with the cloud cover, the air is hot and heavy and damp. I kind of forgot what it feels like to be warm all the time, the sticky skin and sticky clothes. Part of me loves it and part of me longs for the cool, dry, familiar air of home. It’s funny how you can want something and dream of it for so long then when you finally get it, there’s something in you that wants to retreat and to climb back into what is safe and comfortable. That’s how my heart is feeling right now. Kona, the University campus, the ocean view from my window, the breeze, the birdsong, the sound of palm leaves scraping against the screens…all things I have been longing for. Now that I’m here though, I’ve been wondering. What is this time about? Why are we starting here? Why do I feel so unsettled. Ever since the plane touched down, there’s a strange struggle inside…to push forward and embrace or to turn my head and look behind. Even writing that scares me just a little, admitting the temptation to hold on to what is behind. I know it’s pretty normal, but I also know that God doesn’t bless it. I know about Lots wife looking back at Sodom and the Israelites longing for the benefits of Egypt while eating manna in the desert. Their result was death. I want life. And not just life but the abundant, overflowing, overcoming life that Jesus has promised to those who trust Him. So I don’t want to look back. I want to set my face ahead. I want to embrace what is new, every unfamiliar thing that leads me to a place where I get to know Him more. Because here’s the thing He’s whispering to my heart right now…in the uncertainty and change, in the heat, in the new sounds, new food, new routine, new people…He is still exactly the same. He is speaking to me of His unchanging nature even while the vantage point from which I’m gazing at Him is brand new. And He is showing me an opportunity as well. In this place, in this season, I get to see and experience Him differently. Different facets of His character, different evidences of His faithfulness, different depths of His compassion and mercy for me…different but the same. Following Jesus, knowing Him, listening to Him is the same here on this mission base as it was in my “normal life”. I don’t have to look back to find Him, and nothing is lost by walking forward. The choice is the same as it always has been. Set my eyes on things above or set them on things on earth. I know that right now, even as He has so many times before, He is calling to me,”Look up. Look above the waves. Look at My face.” Oh how He loves me!