Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Life Hidden & New.


The morning was raw. Those first moments of waking from a deep sleep and trying to walk to the bathroom without falling over into a coma are often brutal.

As soon as the rich, dark coffee hit my veins though, the tides of that day began to turn. The ‘on’ light to my brain clicked alive, there was hope after all. I know, it’s a bit dramatic, but for me it’s often reality. And on this particular morning, my mind began to go on autopilot, asking things like,

“What do I need to accomplish today?”
“Really, if I don’t accomplish something today I might just wither up like the flower in that vase over there.”

My mind was going through a checklist, even though I just moved to a new city, have no ‘official’ job yet, and have a juicy summer to explore. But with unlimited amounts of caffeine at my disposal, my mind plugged along, and I decided a trip to the local library was in order. It was a type-A moment.

My drive to the library was nothing ordinary. Gigantic mountains loomed to the west, draped in fresh morning sunshine. Luscious trees and greenery exploded from my peripheral vision, and there was no shortage of early-rising bikers and runners lining the sidewalks. I wondered who they were and where they were going.  Already my steel resolve to ‘accomplish’ without distraction cracked.

Just as I was about to walk into a building filled with thoughts and ideas worthy of dissection, I felt a tap on my shoulder.

“Are you a Colorado voter?” a very soft-spoken, middle-aged woman probed.
Against my impulse to just run into the building and ignore her obvious interruption of my ‘accomplishing’ mode, I sighed, very loudly, and replied, “What is this petition for?”

Noting my overt annoyance she kindly explained that it was to help land an issue on the fall ballot to increase funding for K-12 education. Hmm, an issue I genuinely cared about, and I was about to shrug off the opportunity to fight for it, all in the name of my own ‘accomplishment.’

Her gentle mannerisms and patience with my self-seeking attitude caught me off guard. They soothed something in me in such a way that I felt convicted for failing to see the needs of those around me. There is always something to ‘accomplish,’ even if that something comes along completely out of my control.

As the week wore on, my God faithfully began to open my eyes to the fact that this life is no longer just my own, but that He gets to live it through me.

His life explodes from me in lengthy conversations with my sister Jennifer, who is fighting to complete school amidst a difficult season of test taking and making a long-distance relationship work.

I see His life bubbling to the surface on runs with my good friend Emily, whose beautiful spirit and perspective are refreshing in a world filled with gunk.

I hear His life in the words of my husband, who tells me that I have the freedom to cry, even though I secretly know it freaks him out to see girls cry. Even so, he patiently comforts me and listens without judgment. (How did I get so lucky?)

His life is displayed as I watch my dear friend Missy comfort her two-month-old son, who is an adorable, chunky little hipster.

Life is not found in accomplishing things or checking things off of a to-do list, though those things are important. Life is not even always found in doing. And thank goodness, because we don’t always do good things. Real, exciting life doesn’t even come from keeping a set of rules to a tee.

Life leaps out of a Person, Jesus Christ. And when this person is Alive inside of us, we become more than a biologically alive human being. Who we are is alive in Him. A new story full of new life opens, a new identity is forged. An identity rooted in unconditional love and a grace so huge it takes eternity, starting now, to explore.

“Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”    Luke 17:33

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