Last night I was watching "American Idol," and the theme was "Inspirational Songs." Overall they weren't very good, but one of the contests sang Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version of "Over the Rainbow." When I first heard it, I didn't think too much about it, but as the night went on, I found myself singing that song over and over again. I was feeling pretty sad and very much alone last night (actually I've been feeling like that for a few weeks now), and at first the song grabbed me just as the cry of a heart longing for escape -- something I was definitely identifying with. But, the more I listened to the words playing over and over in my head, the more I finally realized, that it's a great song about Heaven. I mean, think about some of the lines, "There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby. . . And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true. . . Where troubles melt like lemon drops. . ." I mean, sure sounds like Heaven to me. All the hope, all the joy, and all the things we've been hearing about and dreaming about, finally realized. And the best part about it is, no Wicked Witches of the West (or munckins for that matter!).
Here's the thing I've been learning a lot about recently: I am not made for this earth. I have been made for another place. The earth can be at times familiar, even comfortable, but it's not ultimately the place where my soul will find peace. Sometimes this is obvious, sometimes not. For me, it's been very obvious recently, and the more I struggle with emotions, people, and sin, the more and more I find myself, much like Dorothy, standing in the gray dreariness of this flat, dull farmland, yearning for the technicolor wonder of some far-off, distant place where "there isn't any trouble."
"Do you suppose there really is such a place, Toto?" You betcha.