Monday, July 9, 2012

A wise woman said, "Sometimes you are able to give more because of what you don't have."  Mr. Miyagi said it another way, "Best way to avoid punch, no be there," the mantra of the famous Drum Technique.
Since my last post I've been pondering, on one level or another, my life vision and the major paradigm shift that I've experienced in recent months.  In a quiet time of prayer I saw my Before dreams and my After dreams side by side - what a polar distinction!  On one hand is the glamourous NYC power picture.  Amazing apartment, artsy friends, entrepreneurial prowess, pavement pounding in Tod's heels and gypsy-chic jewels.  On the other hand is the simple adventure. A huge estate on acres of land...and a river runs through it.  Artsy friends, homeschooling and dyeing wool shorn from my very own sheep.  Two separate lives on two separate planes.  How can I possibly have both?  What man out there could possibly carry on this double life with me? As much as I hate the grey areas that lead to the maturity of strengthened faith, I desperately desire to be able to live in the worm hole between two universes. 

But a wormhole is destined to collapse on itself. The pendulum that remains dead center stops the clock.  Ayurveda teaches that the body is never in perfect health. We are always balancing between the elements.  So, the question is (bare with me as I wax philosophical), is balance the absence of inequality or is balance the equal distribution of time, weight, thought, etc.?

Depending on the circumstance, it could be both. Let's use fire and water as an example. If you have too much fire, you need water. But if you put the fire out, then water over abounds. So we must have equal amounts of fire and water to be in balance. Correct? Unless, it is necessary to have more fire than water. In the movie, The Grey, I don't think Liam Neeson and his buddies would have been able to stay warm if they dug a pond, nor would they have been able to fend of the monstrous wolves with buckets of water. No, they needed fire, contained and controlled fire, but fire and fire in abundance. An element out of balance, kept the stranded men alive and spurred them to keep going.

Could it be the same in life?  Balancing an equation is the same as cancelling out the equation.  I don't want my life to be nothing with no forward movement.  If I can do all things through Christ, somewhere in the "all" something is going to be equal and opposite to something else, which inevitably renders both things void.  But if I can do all things through Christ at different times, in different seasons, with varying degrees of intensity, then something or many things will be out of balance before the pendulum swings back the other way.  The thought is freeing and maddening at the same time.  So, let's not think about it. 

I jest.  But seriously, perhaps the best way to live life not focused on the click of the clock as the pendulum swings, but to live knowing that the next swing is a new opportunity to give, to share, to sacrifice and to gain.  For whatever is missing on one side shall surely be found on the other.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Don't Rush Me

It's funny how after receiving an amazing revelation, the Enemy can come at you with a powerful blow of condemnation. Last week was really tough.  I'm aching to make a move in my life and am in a seemingly interminable holding pattern. I've been exercising diligently, but don't feel any stronger.  I'm tired and can't get any sleep.  I believe that I am victorious, but I feel utterly defeated.  An amazing story of a young man's perseverance both inspired and convicted me.  At breakfast, I turned to the Word for solace. Psalm 95 calls us to worship the great God and wonderous maker of the earth, but I felt lumped in with the rebellious nation whose hearts went astray from Him.  I felt like Samson, shaven head hanging low, unable to tap into my supernatural strength.

I choked on my bagel, now soggy with tears.  Why, God, make me like Samson when the world obviously needs David?  Why make my eyes to see only the gilded edges of the frame and the grand picture it encompasses, when the world needs people who can recognize each stroke, identify each color, deconstruct the masterpiece bit by bit, rather than swallowing it's beauty whole? I was devastated looking at my life in mid-renovation.

Before:  My foundation was solid, but not level, so my house leaned, and no wonder, since it was settled on clay studded with rocks.  My yard was filled with flowering weeds and commanding trees that bore no fruit.Then I asked to see God, to be face to face with Him. I began to dream with Him and to picture His heaven here on earth. I asked Him for a special outpouring of Holy Spirit and an undeniable touch of His Fatherly love.  I asked for curses to be broken, lies to be uncovered, walls to be torn down and ungodly thoughts and imaginations to be brought low. I asked God to excavate my life. 

He did. 

Now what?
Now, I'm surveying the damage.  There is rubble everywhere. The ground is turned inside out, rocks piled in monstrous formations surrounded by tangles of overgrown weeds and gnarly roots that trail along the scarred earth.  In the words of my college choir director, "It's a mess!  A wreck mess...a train wreck mess!" This is why people want to buy move-in ready homes.  Was what I had so bad?  Was the way it used to be so very bad?  Because living the aftermath of a hurricane is maddening!

What I loved most about doing hair and makeup was "transformations", taking an ugly duckling and coloring, cutting, buffing, polishing, painting and styling her into a swan.  But, it wasn't just the final reveal that I lived for, it was the whole process in between.  I was the only stylist in the salon taking pictures before, during and after.  But the During is why I kept the clients' backs to the mirror. 

During: the controlled (or rampant) chaos that ensues after the client is draped; the part of the design and landscape shows that gets edited out. But I can't edit this out!  I can't turn my back and not see.  I can't fade to black or return after a commercial break.  I have to go through it, step by step, when every fiber in my body wants to just pull the pillars down on it all. 

After:  My assignment today is write the vision and make it plain.  I've written many a plan, goal and vision before.  I've even gone through a 50 some odd page handbook on how to do it right (very awesome exercise, by the way  But something happened.  My goals changed. My purpose, no longer shrouded behind shame and fear presented itself like a wailing baby, dato alla luce.  What is beautiful about my After is that the gilded frame remains, an effulgent casing, for the obra del Maestro, that is tantamount to what has been in my heart since my freshman year in college.  It's all there, but the details are entirely different.  There is a new pattern of strokes and new approach to the work that requires patience more than skill and consistency more than resources. 

It would be easy to end my story buried under a pile of rubble, lying inches away from my felled enemies, my last emotions, vengeance and desparation.  Afterall, my enemies would be dead and I would be a hero.  Samson (Shimshon in the Hebrew) means "like the sun".  I dare to deduce his parents named him thus because of the brilliant light that exploded from the angel of the Lord ascending to heaven in the flame of their burnt offering. Even more interesting, Shimshon's father, Manoah is rest personified.  In Psalm 95 the rebellious nation could not enter into the Lord's rest.  They were cursed to wander in the wilderness, doomed to die in the During, when they could have walked in the glorious light of the Son.

I know that I am called to shine, but my ministry must be born from rest.  It is okay, even necessary for me to not rush through the transformation, but rest through it. As God has shaken my world, He will also remake it, and it will be better than before.