(This is a revised article I wrote in February of 2011. It is as true today as it was then…maybe even more so. Wonderful things can happen when we decide to step out in Faith. We are not made to be a vase of cut flowers that are brilliant for only a short time. We are made to have roots that spread out and grow …the word that just came to me was”steady”!!!! WE ARE MADE TO HAVE ROOTS THAT SPREAD OUT AND GROW STEADY. I looked up “steady” and synonyms are; “Sure, abiding,enduring, never-failing, steadfast, unfaltering, unshaken, wholehearted, unswerving, eternal, never-ending, constant, stable, certain, durable, reliable.” We are to be all that and increase, branch off, multiply into new shoots and seeds. We are to keep growing, never-ceasing. What we are could produce a huge harvest when we have the Son! )
~I have a cute little wooden heart decoration hanging in my house that reads, “Pray about everything. Worry about nothing.” Sage advice… words of wisdom to live by… and I have been trying to live by that motto for my entire life. It hasn’t been too terribly difficult considering that until I was married, my parents took care of my every need. And then after I was married, my husband controlled everything that had to do with the house, the cars, the finances… I went from being a child, to having my own children, to spending my days teaching and playing with other people’s children… and now I am discovering to my horror that in many ways I am, at 40, still a child. Having a child-like spirit is all well and good, but having a child’s understanding of W-2’s, IRA’s, 401k’s, Insurance Policies and anything and everything that has to do with plumbing, electricity, or motorized vehicles is PATHETIC. I am embarrassed at how little I know about a grown up’s world. I am disgusted that I have lived the lie that ignorance is bliss.
Is it my own fault that I like ease… that I am a creature of comfort. I like beauty… I like simplicity. I like little children and puppies and kitties and flowers and white fluffy clouds. I like chocolate chip cookies. No body every made me file a tax return… I have never checked my own oil or tire pressure or changed a flat… I have never stopped a dripping faucet or checked a breaker box. I AM a 1970’s fuse box in a 2011 high-tech world. Everything is plugged in… everybody is plugged in, except for me. And I feel like if I plug into anything more than the load I already carry then I am just going to BLOW!!! And then what?
Imagine this: I live in a world surrounded by an enormous Monet painting… beautiful impressionist art of rolling hills, forested landscape, country cottages, romping dogs and playful children. These happy scenes cover the walls on all sides from floor to ceiling. Across the floor, the grass is separated by winding dirt paths, patches of brightly colored flowers, and shiny streams with foot bridges. The entire ceiling is a brilliant robin egg blue where wispy white clouds reflect the sun’s silvery rays. Here in my little- life room I have surrounded myself with everything that is beautiful to me… everywhere I look is a place that I am happy. The only troubling spot is behind me, and I know that it is there, so I consciously choose not to look at it.
I am in the middle of my room, admiring all that there is to see… taking it in…convincing myself that I will never tire of the view. From several paces back, the scene is soothing … peaceful and pleasing. The subject matter is obscure, there are no clear-cut lines, no sharpness of definition… it is a lovely, serene world. Then all of a sudden a cranking, whirring sound begins… a sound indicating that motion is about to occur. I realize with a start that I am not in a room at all. I am on something that moves! I have been idling quietly in neutral for so long that I had forgotten that I was not meant to be inert… that life is meant to be in motion. I had forgotten what the sensation of moving forward felt like. Suddenly I have gone from standing still, into high gear. I have been thrown backward… smacked hard against that place that I had chosen not to look at… that place I had diverted my eyes away from…that place called “Reality.” For years I have been looking at an unclear world of my own creation… and I have been looking at it through eyes half-shut.
The sudden movement, and the crash against the wall wake me thoroughly and I find my entire being pressed up against, plastered to the place I was hoping to avoid. I am no longer in a my self-imposed hypnotic state. My eyes are wide open and what I see is too much to take in. It is a Macy’s department store, a CheeseCake Factory Menu, A New York City… when all I know is my closet, my pantry, and my yard. TOO MUCH! TOO MUCH! TOO FAST!!! I don’t know what I am looking at! I don’t know what I am looking for! I don’t know how to categorize it in my brain. I don’t have any folders already set up in my mind’s filing system to sort and stash all of this new information into. I feel paralyzed. But here I am. So what do I do? Crumble down and cry… or try to make sense of it?
Baby steps. Baby steps. I am a child, a baby. I’m not proud of it, but I am darn it!… but I have to grow up sometime.
“When I was a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now I see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12. Time to put away the blankie and pull on some big girl pants.
I was used to a hazy world. I liked being a child. But those days are over. I know I am a baby in many ways, and I have so much more I need to know. But I am grateful for the hands that have seen my shaky steps and held onto me as I stumbled along… the arms that have reached out to catch me when I have started to fall. I am grateful for the patience… the hugs… the pats. But I am moving forward. I have been shaken, woken and forced to open my eyes and really look… but I think this real world is beautiful too. Actually, this world is far more interesting. I see it all clearly. I am not steady… yet. But I AM sure. I can do it… I can do this. I don’t need it done for me. I can be the farmer who learns how to grow the crop… not the poor peasant who has the crop grown for him… and remains poor because he never learns to do it for himself. I want to put my hands in the dirt and build my life… not stand ten paces back and look through shuttered eyes at a portrayal of some generic life someone else has created for me. Do I dare open my eyes and really see… Do I dare take that first baby step… Do I dare shift into gear…. Do I dare try to be everything that I know that I was meant to be, that God made me to be… Do I dare to live? Yes. Bravery is not facing something without fear, it is daring to do something even though I am afraid. Pray? I will. Worry? I might. But it is time to grow. It is time to Believe.
“Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow’.” The Talmud
“Many people will walk in and out of your life, But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head; To handle others, use your heart.
Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you once, it is his fault; If he betrays you twice, it is your fault.
Great minds discuss ideas, Average minds discuss events, Small minds discuss people.
He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses much more; He who loses faith, loses all.
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, But beautiful old people are works of art.
Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
Friends, you and me. You brought another friend, And then there were three.We started our group, Our circle of friends, And like that circle – There is no beginning or end.
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Today is the first day of the rest of our life. Let’s make it count! Lets grow in the warmth of the Son. Peace:)