Selah

What an amazingly crazy week it has been. This is literally the first time I’ve been able to sit down and take a moment to reflect, and to put it all down on “paper”. There is something about putting ideas and thoughts into tangible beings that eases the mind. And so I begin by saying this is my first official post being written IN Abu Dhabi.   

 Huzzah for me!    Huzzah for you!        HUZZAHHHH!!!

With this being my first post and it coming at a time of momentary rest, it was fitting that I just listened to a sermon from Pastor Brad Leach of CityLife Church – yay internet webcasts! – that focused on ‘Finding your Physical Rhythm’. The message touched on the beauty of work, the enjoyment of work, and most importantly, the need for rest and reflection. Do you see how that fits with this being my first moment of rest? Do you see? If not, return to the top and read again. I’ll wait…

OK. Patronizations aside, it truly has been a remarkable week and I’m thankful I have a second to look back. Let’s start at the moment I stepped out of the airport… It’s HOT!!! No, that doesn’t describe the temperature here. Hot was my trip to Miami last summer. It’s not hot. Ok, it’s…  well… is there a word that encompasses how one would feel if you stepped into a sauna, that was in a vikram hot yoga studio, that was thrown into a clothes dryer full of sand? Is there a word for that? No? Well… it’s very hot. And we got here at night!

Though, I’m glad we arrived at night. Apart from avoiding the more fiery part of the day, we also got to drive through Abu Dhabi at night, which was beautiful. The dark skies, the man-made structures, the illuminated Grand Mosques, it was all breath-taking. Then again, after 14 hours of being cramped in the middle seat of an at-capacity airbus where I was basically sitting in the fetal position, it was nice to be taking any deep breaths at all.

 

Upon reaching my school appointed apartment I was able to finally relax into the idea that I will be living in this world for at least 2 more years. Wow. It finally hit me. This city is my new home. I have worked, and enjoyed my work, in Philly for the last 4 years and that chapter has been inked, published, and closed. Philadelphia is now privy to my family and friends back home’s individual dreams… but not mine. My work is here now. I have spent the summer reflecting on the beauty of my creations from the previous years in the ‘city of brotherly love’, but now it is time to roll up my sleeves – literally, have I told you it’s hot? – and get to work creating in this city.

But before that process fully commences, I am glad that I have a moment to breathe and take in the fact that God has given me a truly amazing opportunity. I have a chance to get my hands gritty with sand and venture forth with a disciplined mind, a renewed soul, and a clean heart in a new land. An historical and ancient land. A biblical land.

Selah is a word found in the Hebrew Bible that means to pause and listen. It is usually used in reference to a musical interlude or break. This word, repeatedly used in Psalms, teaches us two things: 1) To stop and reflect, and 2) that the life we live is a song. As I add members to my own orchestra in this desert oasis I long to make this sonata one of beauty, cadence, and harmonious rhythm. A song filled with Selah, where I can gaze around and appreciate the wondrous gifts I have been given.