Nov 24, 2004Find joy today


We got our carte de sejour, that elusive piece of paper that makes us legal residents of France. I’d explain the process to you, but then I’d have to kill you. (Actually, it’s so tedious, you’d drop off to sleep as you read this.) I will give you a highlight though.

We’ve been twice to the Prefecture in Nice, and once to the xray place (still another story. The French are absolutely against tuberculosis, nearly as much as they are against George W.). But, back to the Prefecture. People start lining up early in the morning (7:00 AM) to get in line. When the Prefecture doors open, a literal stampede of people sprint down this long hallway to a line, where they then shove, push, crowd and bully themselves to the front. Kind of like a European football match.

Thankfully, we knew how to get to the front of the line fairly painlessly (thanks to others who have stampeded before us and became wise). So, today, we paid a bajillion euros (which, if you calculate it in dollars is two bajillion dollars) for eight postage stamps. We met a nice French lady who joked with us in French, and voila! Our carte de sejour!

It got me thinking, though. Patrick said, “these are gold,” as he waved our blue American passports in front of me.


“Everyone wants one,” he said.

At that moment, I was proud afresh to be an American, to be holding the little blue book with embossed gold seal. I am a citizen of America. I may reside in France, but I belong to America. I am an American.

It’s the same way with our true citizenship. I am proud afresh to be a citizen of Heaven, to have my name written in the Lamb’s Passport of Life. I may reside on earth, but I belong to Heaven. I am a Heaven-ite.

That means my allegiance to this world is primarily to another one. I may exist here, but I do so in light of where I will live eternally. The Bible is clear that we are here for just a breath, a vapor, nearly an illusion. The question is, what will I do with my visa here on earth? As I hold my carte de sejour of terra firma, how will I conduct my life?

Paul says, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

At the Prefecture, God reminded me of my true citizenship…not France…not even America. I want to live in such a way that the reality of Heaven is my pulse.