Several months ago Carli and I were watching a travel program. It many ways it was nothing special; father and daughter, killing time and enjoying something together, that they both share an interest in. I cannot recall anything else on the program except the Swedish Ice Hotel. We both sat, riveted to our seats unable to move. I cannot recall what we said during the program but by the time it ended we both turned and said that “we have got to go!”
A quick web search, a short email exchange and forty-eight hours later we had reservations. Fast forward to yesterday morning and we are arriving in Kiruna Sweden, 200 kilometers north of the Artic Circle. As we flew into the small mining town sitting beside the Torne River we had no idea of what to expect. The snow covered forest was to be expected but we knew that there was going to be more. Taking an hour and a half to travel from the airport to the hotel by dog sled didn’t give us anything that we could naturally set our bearings on to leverage some past experience.
Nothing was familiar. Frozen rivers, minus 30+ degrees, bright sun, extremely dry powder snow, and a hotel made of snice. Sleeping on beds of ice? What were we thinking? Were we out of our minds? Had we lost our senses in some English drizzle?
As the sun set and we stuffed our luggage into our lockers for the night, we began to explore the hotel’s rooms. Sculptures, ice chandeliers, cold berry juice in river ice glasses, reindeer skins, and minus five degrees which seemed like warm summer were the hard facts. Carli, Whitney, Cherry, and I fanned out exploring every room of the hotel in awe, wonder, and amazement!
Carli asked the obvious. “How do you describe this?”
Sometimes life is like God.
“Jesus said, ‘You're absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it's not possible to see what I'm pointing to—to God's kingdom.’” (John 3.3)