This morning we rose early to drive to the launch site for ballooning over spectacular Cappadocia in central Turkey. The pre-dawn sky shone with stars and the air was pleasantly warm and reassuringly still. Cappadocia is an ancient landscape covered in cave dwellings crafted out of volcanic ash debris and shaped by floods that have washed this otherworldly scene for millennia. Two appealing aspects of ballooning are the silence and the scenery. The sky was filled with as many as forty multi-colored craft and our pilot skillfully navigated our basket with bursts of fire and the deft opening of the canopy to release the heated air. To fly by floating as the sun rose over Mount Argaeus created an atmosphere of quiet awe as we ascended and descended above God's creation. We moderns have so little quiet built into our frantic, manic lives. But we need it!
As our hour long journey's end drew closer with the anticipation of landing (would it be smooth?) one tour member, entranced by the experience and not wanting the flight to finish, said in an unguarded moment of inspiration, 'This is what it must be like to be in love', meaning, I think, that to love is to be with the one you love on a life journey that you never wish to end.
Is there such a love? Always captivating and never ending? Human love is fraught with danger and disappointment. To love anyone is to risk everything. Yet there is a love that lasts, but only a few taste its joys or risk travelling that journey. It's a love the Apostle Peter says, writing to suffering Christians in first century Cappadocia, that fills the person who loves Jesus with an inexpressible and glorious joy (1 Peter 1:1; 8-9). The balloon ride and Michaela's reflection turned my thoughts to the Bible. Who wouldn't want to know God's deep, secure, saving love? Can I be taken higher up into the enjoyment of his love? No matter which way the wind is blowing, the fire and breeze of God's Spirit is the guarantee God gives me that he is pouring his love into my poor heart (Romans 5:5).
"Give me the Love that leads the way
The Faith that nothing can dismay
The Hope no disappointments tire
The Passion that'll burn like fire
Let me not sink to be a clod
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God"
― Amy Carmichael