These days it seems like every time I am able to lay down and close my eyes, I immediately begin reliving moments when “I had smacked the cover off a softball”. The moments I relive most are when the ball connects with the “sweet spot” on the bat, and goes sailing into the outfield flying over the left fielder’s head.
In game I hit the ball so hard and so far, that the left fielder slammed her glove down in frustration as she watched the ball fly over head.
Ahhh the glory days…we all remember when, right? As these memories and moments have been flooding my mind, I’ve been asking God why? Lord why is it that I close my eyes do I go back to these times? What is it? Am I not happy with my life now? Am I longing for a better time? Am longing for the days when I had more of those nailing the “sweet spot” moments? What is it?
Just yesterday as I was reading a book that Ken got me, I finally got a download of some much needed revelation!
The Clark family is currently enjoying a “STAYCATION” This has been a much needed break, and opportunity to breathe, regroup and be re-engerized after a busy 10 months. For us, these are the times when we get to do what we love, reading lots of books, dreaming with God, and then journaling it all out.
I would love to share with you some of the thoughts that have been churning deep within my heart lately! These are out of overflow of a string of journal sessions. They are not just from these past two weeks, but from over the ;ast few seasons as well.
In this book the Moreland, discusses how as humans, we actually hunger for drama, and how God actually made us to lead a dramatic lives. He says,
“We often relive our ‘sporting moments‘ from growing up…we keep the game memories alive and actually feed off of it.”
As I read that, I immediately thought, “YES, THAT’S IT That’s what is keeping me up at night!” What I realized is I am not longing for “the glory days”, I am actually longing for More Glory in My Days! It is not that I am unhappy in my current life, it’s just I am longing for the “sweet spot” moments to continue.
Oswald Chambers, expounds on this idea giving it more depth and lots to chew on.
“Beware of paying attention to going back to what you once were, when God wants you to be something that you have never been.”
What a profound thought! It speaks to letting God use my circumstances to mold me into the person He wants me to be, not simply the small image of who I want to be. He wants me to live in the the purposes He has RIGHT NOW! My focus should not be longing for who I once was in my “glory days” but giving God more “glory in my days”.
“Spiritual formation begins with the gradual and often painful discovery of God’s incomprehensibility in the face of life’s great mysteries and limitations,” and that the “contemplative is someone who sees the real connections of how things hang together, who knows as Thomas Merton says, ‘what the scoop is.’”
I love it when the Holy Spirit opens me eyes, and helps me ‘connect the dots’ and gives me the inside scoop. He has been showing me over the last few years, that Jesus came to give us life, and life to the full. The way to this fullness, is to look for the Greater Story in all of life, and His Story that is being written in the midst of it.
Nouwen always helps me get a better handle on the lessons the Lord is teaching me. He explains that we have to change the the story our lives.
“How we view time has to change. Time for us is often opaque, dark and impenetrable. We cannot see through to the underlying coherence of our story.”
Most of us in the Western world, view time through a “chronos” filter.
“Chronos time is when the events of our lives are nothing more than a randomly connected series of incidents and accidents of which we have not control. Disappointments, unemployment, material loss, sickness and death are experience as meaningless disruptions to be denied and avoided if possible. When time is chronos we don’t have time to do all the things we need to do, and our schedule is a burden. Time is running our and life is exhausting. There is no time for friendship, for blessing, and for celebration.”
I know many of us live life this way, I constantly hear everyone (myself included) go on about how we never have time do the things we love, and our daily schedules literally take over our lives. We find ourselves being pushed along by a time table, rather than being led along by the Spirit.
Have you felt this struggle? is this a tension that resonates with you? Do you think we are really meant to live continually guarding our time so we can have meaningful lives? This is usually what we end up doing isn’t it? This is why I find what Nouwen insights a little more realistic and hopeful, especially for a busy mom with seemingly NO time for herself.
I was so liberated when Nouwen said that we need to let our time be converted from ‘Chronos’ to ‘Kairos‘. Kairos time is defined by when you view time as filled with opportunity, rather than what blocks you from what you really want to be doing.
“we need to starting seeing the many events of our days, weeks or year not as obstacles to a full and meaningful life but THE WAY TO IT. We don’t need to look at everything as a series of random activities but actually as things that contain within themselves the transforming power of re-creation.”
My takeaway is that all these seemingly insignificant moments in my days, can actually be the most life-giving and life-changing IF I view them with the respect they deserve. There is such power in seeing God with me in each and every moment, giving me life and molding me to His image If I will view the seemingly mundane things I have to do every day as “kairos moments” or opportunities for God to reveal His goodness, His story.
Let me conclude this ramble with another revelation God gave me from a Blog I read a few years ago. I hope that it will bring it all home for. In the blog, the author talked about recognizing just how important the mundane moments in our lives actually are…and that the ground we walk on every day is actually “sacred ground” where God can move. I was amazed when I read beginning with a text from scripture in Exodus 3,
Moses and the Burning Bush
3 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
“Can it be that the very ground where we stand is somehow or other made holy just by our being there? Is that so much of a stretch? Maybe my problem is that when I go to work I refuse to take off my shoes because I’m convinced in advance that there is no way God could make such a place holy or would even declare it holy. Maybe the problem is that I refuse to see that place, as a place where God might show up at any given moment. Maybe I am so intent on God not being in that place, that I have refused to invite him in, or see him as already there, or practice his presence . Maybe I’d rather have something to complain about, than something to praise him for.”
Here is what I wrote in my journal this after reading that post..
“The reason I despise this season of my life is because I refuse to see it as Holy, as a place I should respect.
GOD came to Moses in the desert and declared it Holy Ground-the ground I am standing on is sacred-it is where my children are being raised, where we work hard, break bread and rest our heads.”
My point is that I believe every day in the mundane there are “burning bushes” blazing all around IF I would respect each moment as an opportunity for God. IF I would give my time slots as spaces God can fill with His presence, IF I would just simply invite Him there, or simply recognize that He is already there. Allowing God to take my “chronos hours” and fill them with “kairos moments!”
I think what I am saying is seek to live “Event-Filled Days” not “Time-Filled Days”
You know I cannot help myself so let me give you one more example before I wrap this up.
Here is one example of living in the “sweet spot”. Living in the sweet spot means not allowing fear or frustration over take your moments, Rather live allowing God to be bigger in those times. One specific example I remember is from summer in working in Black Mountain, North Carolina at Ridgecrest Conference Center. One particular afternoon a friend and I were riding along the winding never ending roads in the Smokey Mountains. We decided to go down a road we had never been and of course we ended up getting lost. Rather than fretting about being lost we chose to live in the moment like the line in the country song we had been singing, “wherever you are THERE you are.” We kept on driving that afternoon as if we were actually ‘somewhere.’ Along the way the COOLEST thing happened. That particular summer my friend and I a llama obsession, we had llama names for everybody and we would go to a place in our minds called “llama land.”
It just so happened on our drive to somewhere we came across a REAL place called “Llama Vista” and I am not lying every house in this little neighborhood had a llama or two in their back yard! We were in llama heaven! You know I do not believe we would have came across “Llama Vista” if we had spent that afternoon drive freaking about getting lost and trying to find our way home. That day we discovered the joy of summer living and finding life and mystery in the moment.
It is a reminder that we are to live All of life, “Seeking first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you as well.” -Matthew 6:33
My prayer is that this entry will help you find the “Llama Vistas” in your days! As you discover them please let us know…we love to hear from you. -Meg