For the WONDER...
“If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and as a preacher, it would be something like this: Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom & pain of it no less than in the excitement & gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy & hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments & life itself is grace.”
- Frederick Buechner
I ended a prayer in my journal like this:
“Lord, I like finality…but I am striving for journey!”
Those that know me well know that I am a little left of center. I tend to lean toward the mystery and mythical of this life. While I certainly can dwell in dark places, I try to see them as adventures instead of desperate situations. It isn’t always easy to navigate, but I am learning that I do not walk this journey alone.
At the close of 2014 I got a little lost. At one point I just needed the chapter to close. I was anticipating what lay around the next bend in the road. Yet, 2014 was a wonderful transformative year. If I look back at it honestly and introspectively I would have to say that I grew more in this last year than I likely have in all of my life. There were so many changes; so many things that required me to have courage, and other situations that tested my faith & stretched my love language. There were cascades of emotions, stresses, and joyous gifts.
Joy…it was the unexpected word for last year. It bled into my writing, filled my cup to overflowing, and steadied my frame against the storm. Joy is not a product of outward experiences, but an inward gratitude of lasting grace that Jesus gives. I am just in the wading pool of joy. The ocean depths await me if I but step sanded toes into the warm rolling brine. To be brined in joy – marinated, preserved, aged in its life preserving properties (God just delivered a completely new concept to me in those words; things to ponder and to chew on)…
For the first time in quite a few years I have made some clear, concise resolutions. I wanted this year to be how I can better myself. I wanted to be healthy enough to give more, love more, and be present for this life.
One, I am striving to be more physically healthy. I derailed a bit the end of last year. It is taking time to work through the emotional and physical pain, but I am slowly gaining ground.
Two, I am working on writing on a consistent basis. The Scalf’s gave me a journal & I attempt to fill a page each day. I am purposefully working on stretching this muscle: in journal, blog, and narrative.
Three, I am reading through the Bible.
Four, I want to be present. I live in a fantasy world most of the time. It comes with my ADD & and overly creative mind. I am always half in the present moment & half in my thoughts. It takes work to be present for this great life God has given me. It is ultimately my goal to show up for what has been placed before me.
Five, to experience wonder…
‘Wonder’ could not speak to my heart more readily. It defines a core piece of my soul.
The word comes directly from my experiences over the last several years with the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. This will be something I plan to write on soon. I cannot begin to tell you how these films, and now the books which I am finally delving into, have resonated with me. They bleed into deeper layers, hews, and colors; painting my soul with their radiance. God has used Middle Earth to speak to me of adventure, courage, heart, and comradery.
I like to know how things will work out. I want the finality, at times, in all things. Yet, that is never how the sojourner travels along this earthly sod. There is often mystery, confusion, uncertainty, and risk that are required. Christ following often surmounts these feelings. There is a great deal of trust that has to take place if I want to walk upon the waves He has prepared for me. I know how the weight of suffering can bring a body low. The ache of the mundane can leave a body numb and limp. The day to day can scrub clean any bits of wonder left.
Yet, there is wonder – upon every ebb and flow. If we peel back the veil our muddy vision will be made clear. A soft resounding gasp will part from lips cracked and parched when something truly surprises – an unfamiliar and inexplicable thing it will be.
In conclusion, I have decided to use my social media for good this year. I have fallen into the trappings of its enticing pool. I do not like the stagnant stench it leaves on my skin. I fear we can be callous, casual, and flippant with our lives within this medium.
I have also seen the good. I have been encouraged by words written, love expressed, and celebrations documented. I have had the wonderful opportunity to connect with people who I would never have the opportunity to know in my life otherwise.
So, with this dichotomy paramount, I have decided that instead of barring my heart from the confines of social media I will, other than occasional necessary updates, put only edifying things on my Facebook and Twitter feeds. These will bear the hashtag: #forthewonder
I hope you will walk this journey with me. It is ultimately about the journey. We Christ followers know our destination. The purpose for this life, I believe, is to love God, allow God to love us, and use our every resource to love others. I have learned that you can do anything with kindness, determination, and willing hands and feet.
May each of you have a wonder-filled day! I am off to have my next adventure J
He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. – Deuteronomy 10:21
He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. – Job 5:9
Seek the Eternal & His power; look to His face constantly. Remember the wonderful things He has done, His miracles and the wise decisions He has made… - Psalm 105: 4-5 (The Voice)
P.S. Just sit and marvel at the amazing wonder of God! Go back and read the definition of wonder. It makes me go a bit weak in the knees to think how wonder-filled our God is! Just a last little bite to chew on.