Thursday, July 14, 2011

Holding Pattern

Deut 31:8: The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
The in-between moment can feel full of implausibility; an unlikelihood down a particular path. Yet we can remain calm while assuredly stepping forth, knowing that God’s direction is always best – that the progression forward, onward, toward a challenge will stretch our faith, while requiring complete reliance upon His insight. Many decisions and choices deliver us to that space of real certainty: to the reality of complete dependence upon God. Circumstance occupied with suffering and loss can thrust the soul toward Him, and eventually, perhaps toward ministry, aiming at refurbishing one’s priorities.
Even providential gifts – such as a benevolent word spoken in a moment of grief, some unexpected financial support, or an extraordinary opportunity offered – all can direct and guide. We must remain vigilant to investigate each condition, to measure toward the litmus test of the Bible, to view a situation in light of His general Biblical promise: to sustain and provide for each need. Maturity – experiential and age and emotions – grows and develops as our relationship with God flourishes and deepens, and we can view each new challenge with spiritual eyes as well; to realize the eternal impact and significance instead of the temporal or fleshly.
To offer ourselves “as living sacrifices” and to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12) are life-long pursuits, which require enormous self-control, starting with a daily discipline of thoughts and actions and reach further into surrendering our ideas of particular paths for life, while submitting our entire wellbeing and will to the Lord, alongside an openness with which He can move and perform in our lives – all while remembering that He goes with us!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Awaiting the bloom

On this hot July day, I'm dreaming of a cooler day's embrace... Here's a narrative I wrote in March about my girls, and enjoyed the moment so much I forgot to post on the blog!...

Cloudy air, deep blue expanse above, sun’s brightening rays yearn for a debut. Three little girls seek the garden to dance among the blushing blossoms and whisper childhood secrets, sisterly notions. The ground is not yet ready in this early March endeavor, yet the small girls jump enthusiastically, enjoying an emerging sun. Swirls and spins of movement and motion arching and curving away and back toward, the center, the beginning, a hopeful journey turning, returning. Toward pretending and starched whites in the sky, the sun long ago receding, waiting for spring’s presence, with green buds approaching the tops of dank soil. Twisted soft petals push up toward free air, in time finally blooming.
Now we watch from a patio's protection as whispering rains nourish the soaked flat landscape, anticipating the explosion of verdant expressions. Yellow daffodils and blue irises finish their game of hiding. Soon burnt orange parrot tulips and tender, shy crocuses will emerge victoriously. The rain quiets and we examine the rivers of water in the soil. Tiny hands wait impatiently above the awakening earth, bright minds eager for transforming visions of springtime’s gentle blooms.
Winter’s rage has howled fiercely through cracks and trees and optimism for months, spreading icy dispositions with frozen snow, drifts, across the mind with generous disdain. The pale, white landscape froze nature in time, delaying animals and flights and important plans. All petrified weather seems a distant recollection now with new rains, clearing skies, brightening dispositions. All seems a colorful palate of promise, opportunity, lengthening light and shadows, and easiness of heart.
The three girls sprawl on large blankets carefully placed on the golden grass and share, snuggle, chat, discuss life playfully, until the sun has lowered and shadows stretch, the moist air begins to form a chill, and the warmth of home beckons us inside.