Saturday, March 17, 2012

Active Waiting, Simple Being--That's Me

In my last post, I considered the desire we have as humans to control or master our lives, and the deep contrast in just plain trusting God's plan. I've been tested on this so much lately, in particular with regard to waiting on uncertainty. What's the point of waiting when no one can offer certainty—but then, is certainty possible, really? I have a friend right now who is battling the highs and lows of dealing with a rare disease, and she's fighting the good fight of patience and faith, waiting on doctors and nurses and her body. Each day poses a new challenge for her spirit, and she consistently maintains clarity mentally and emotionally, knowing she's only human at the same time. It's superhuman to me.

Right now I am battling with the unknown about some murky results from some blood tests my doctors have been doing on me. I find myself at specialists—endocrinologist, neurologist—looking for answers that just won't come yet. It's unnerving to think that something may be wrong with me, and there's no way to understand how to prepare for such an eventuality, though really what I want to do is not WAIT, but just BE. Be in the moment, be of the moment, and not think forward. This business of thinking forward, though, creates in me this desire to sit on my back porch and look up at the sky, at the large, billowing clouds transforming with each second, brushing the brightness of the sky, its crispness, and hiding the sun, allowing only for an aura around the ever-changing edges of each cloud that passes. I want to sit and drink a cup of tea, and read something intoxicating. I want to pray, and do, every few hours, for the grace to stop second guessing myself, stop holding myself back, stop complaining, and just get on with the business of life.

Advent is more the waiting season in terms of anticipation, but Lent—well, Lent is the wait-for-the Lord season, the have-faith-and-return-to-the-basics season, dying-to-self season. Dying to the ego that can send me tumbling easily over small hurdles simply because things aren't settled or going my way. It takes some kind of spiritual discipline to maintain one's soul in the midst of this kind of chaos,but I'm taking it as spiritual boot camp at the moment, and thankfully, I have a munchkin with a laugh of gold and a husband with a warped sense of humor to keep me grounded. I'm still looking up, though.

I am always looking up, for those clouds and signs and wonders in the sky that tell me all is well.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Transplanting Fear for Love

Sunlight comes earlier now, and nudges me up along with some melodious chirping each day. I get fresh dirt in my nails as I dig into the ground, tilling the earth around some tulips unfurling in my front yard of their own volition. Spring reminds me always of new chances, fresh growth that's inspiring: from the pear blossoms waving in the breeze, to the daffodils brazenly challenging what's left of winter to bring it--they're here to stay. Makes me smile.

This kind of renewal happened within my soul as I listened to Alice Camille and attended a penance service for Lent just this past week--she reminded her listeners of the ways we need to surrender ourselves now, and always, to the next moment, how time marches on in our lives regardless of what we try to do to slow it down, control or master it. For those of us not so in love with our wrinkles, this is bad news, of course, but in truth the more important mark of time comes in the way we cherish it. Along the way there's plenty of struggle with change, which, as Alice put it, rocks our complacency. As I listened to her speak, I wondered if I have tilled the soil of my soul, and how I will learn to master my fear and be as bold as the daffodils.

A piece of this message had to do with forgiveness--with coming to terms with ourselves and others and freeing ourselves to love and live rather than fear. I know it can be hard to come to terms with forgiving our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass, but in the end we cannot transform ourselves into the humans we're meant to be without letting go and creating that opening into which God can pour ever more grace into us.