Connectivity and Living Fully

(August 31, 2014)

Today my friend and I lay on the grass and watched the clouds float by. She’s only three, but that’s OK. Cloud watching is a skill to learn young.

There was a happy face and a heart in the clouds. I guess Mickey Mouse was there too, or so she said. I didn’t find him.  And there were butterflies in the trees. At least she said that if she squinted she could see them.

I mentioned how the sky goes forever. How when we climb each hill to our horizon a whole new expanse lies ahead. She smiled happy, looked into my eyes with her own sparkling bright and whispered soft: “goes forever.”

I thought then of how lovely a picture would be, of how to capture the light  in her eyes. But my phone was safely in the car, and a life can be lost in capturing on camera each moment.

We watched more clouds. We played the tumble game (gently fall off something). We smiled and these moments were moments to treasure.

I think sometimes it’s better this way. To set the electronics aside, to step back and forget that you are a perfectionist, and totally find it hard to relax–and to just treasure life.

Because what if today were my last day to live: Would I want to spend it immersed in an online world or hidden behind a camera lens? Or would I rather spend those moments fully present, wherever I am?

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As I contemplate the past few days I realize how nice it actually was to have limited (or no) cell connectivity for 9 days of camping and just to be able to treasure each moment and live life fully there, to take the time to gaze deep into a pool of blue water that seemed to go forever and think of how His love is like that….

Much is lost when an electronic connection is where I spend my life, and much is lost when my goal is to capture on camera every moment of life. Sometimes it’s better to be captured by the glory than to capture the glory itself.

(There’s a reason His love is greater and deeper than my understanding can ever fathom.)

As the future stretches before me I am certain of one thing: I want to live fully here and to treasure each moment as the gift it really is.

So, join me? Step back sometime, leave your electronics untouched, and watch the clouds (metaphorically speaking) for a while. The grass may be wet, the to-do list undone, but choose to treasure the simple and you’ll see a hundred little things you would never have noticed. Minuscule flowers, buzzing bees, or just maybe His love shining in a smile.

Live to love. Heart of life.

His life my light. Fullness of grace.
Meant to shine on me.

Because He did.
Christ laid down His life, loved it not until death, so He could live a life of love.

He came. He lived love. He gave His all.

He is still the light. He is still love. But His love now shines in His yielded ones. His light now shines through them.
Yielded ones who have joyfully chosen to surrender their love of life so they can live a life of love.

Living a life of love rather than loving to live is no small difference. But it is the heart of truly living, and neither is there any small difference in what He gave so He could redeem me and the life He lived here on Earth.

In fact, there is no comparison.

He gave His life so His light could light my darkness, so I could know the heart of Love.

So I, too, can live His love.

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*thoughts from: John 1; Streams in the Desert, April 26.

Ripples

These moments? They are pebbles.
When dropped into time they create ripples.

Ripples travel far.

These ripples come back to me. But they also go to others. No stone makes ripples only on one side.

What I spend my time on determines who I am. Who I am, whether or not I want it to, influences those around me.

And so, I may only be a ripple-causing pebble, but I want my ripples to be His love.

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Upheld by His Love

I sit at 34,000 feet and wonder…. Wonder how it is this heavier-than-air, vibrating metal object can fly. And all I can conclude is that it is a marvel greater than my understanding.

Flight is a miracle.

When a heart lets go and flies free.
When one chooses to say “Yes” to God.

Disobedience, fear, distrust? They keep us anchored down.

To abandon all, to trust God, yeah it’s scary sometimes.
But only in abandon is there freedom. Only in trusting Him can we fly.

I fly with wings of metal and fiberglass; upheld in air.
This heart flies on wings of trust, belief; upheld securely by His love.

He doesn’t let us crash. Oh, I could choose to alright, and sometimes (read: all too often) I do. But as long as my life is in His keeping I can rest securely in His love.

He my refuge. He the one who fights for me. And, always, underneath me are His everlasting arms.*

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*Deut 33:27

Failure, or not.

God’s glory is His children’s good.
His children’s good is anything that brings them closer to Him.

In this way, even apparent failure can be the glory of God if the failure was needful in His children.

And if needful, is it really failure or just a stepping stone to something better?

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Unshaken Confidence

He knew he would not be ashamed and so had set his face like a flint.

There would be no turning back, no turning aside. No believing anything other than what God had told him.

He was confident in this because God was near to Him. Because God had promised to help him, he knew that he would not be confounded.

He knew Truth. And Truth kept him steadfast.

And even though at times all around was confusion, he believed God and remained unswayed.

His face was set. There would be nothing else.  Nothing but God’s truth.

In this a challenge rings true.

Do I trust God this much?

Do I believe that what He has said He will do?

Is my face set like a flint, so that the confusing thoughts Satan throws at me will serve not to confuse but to strengthen Truth in my life.

God’s promises are new every morning.

They never fail, and they never run out.

And that’s because the God who made the promise never fails and never runs out.

The promises aren’t what we trust, it’s the God behind those promises.

He promises:

And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.  (John 8:32)

My grace is sufficient for you for My strength is made perfect in weakness.  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

I will never leave you or forsake you.  (Hebrews 13:5)

God is faithful. Isaiah knew this and he would not be dismayed.  

We can know this too.

And in this God  I, too, can find the confidence that will never be shaken.

(Isaiah 50)

Connection

The city flashes past my window, but I take no heed. All I want is to go home. This hasn’t been my best day for shopping. I was more than ready to quit before I’d even hardly started. I’m usually tired of the city after a few hours, but this started after a few minutes. I wonder why. I search deep to understand. If something like this happens there is usually a reason. I think it must have something to do with the city itself and how it’s such a congregating place for sin of all types. Maybe it’s the countless strange songs and strange Halloween-ish sounds issuing through store sound systems. I search for answers. Find none there.

A light turns red. I stop. Surrounded by cars full of people. Disconnected people. Hurting people. Each going his own way. Doing their own thing.

The light changes. We move forward. And then I see it.
Disconnect. It changes everything.

I’m dismayed. How did I get here and why!? There was no disconnect when I got to town this morning. There certainly is now. I search for answers, find none.

Dismay changes to steel-clad resolve. I didn’t leave home this way this morning. I’m not going home this way. Fortunately, I have a two hour drive ahead of me.

The last of the city fades away in my rear-view mirror. My iPod playlist streams music from my car speakers, courtesy of batteries and radio waves. I hardly hear it.

I wrestle with this restlessness. This separation from His heart. Magnified torment since I know I could have avoided this if I’d just paid attention. I’m ashamed now. Almost too ashamed to seek His heart. But seek it I do. Believing that He meant it when He promised that if we sought He would be found, and that He’s always near.

Trees flash by my window now, and God speaks peace to my heart. It doesn’t take as long as I expect and well before I’m halfway home the hurry is solidly replaced by the calmness I need. I call, He answers.
Always. He’s been waiting for me.
Even though I’ve grieved His heart.
He comes, tells my enemies to depart.

And I’m back where I belong. For now anyway. I wish I’d always stay here.

Times like these are getting rarer. Rarer enough that I can actually tell when my heart has gone astray. This life requires so much more than I could ever give. Connection to Heaven is a necessity. A necessity I love.

Each day that I seek to know His heart is a day in which I never want to know anything else. He always amazes me.

I didn’t skip that this morning. But somewhere between home and town I forgot that I can’t even walk without Him holding my hand. Dreadful to forget this. For when I forget this, I forget Him.

I’m asking Him now to keep me ever closer by His side, to remind me often just how much I need Him (Every moment. Every day.), and to never let me go.

It’s only through knowing Him that I can want to know yet more. It’s only through a heart connection with Infinite Love that I can even remember why I love, live, pray.

And it’s only through this that I can be at rest and full of gratitude. He gives the gifts. He gives the gratitude too.

It’s only through this that life is truly lived.


(written a few days ago)