Are you ever confused about what to do next in a situation? Like which way to go, or what to say that will not be misunderstood or taken wrongly? It must be a common occurrence, because there are so many times that I feel that way throughout my day. How do I know what to choose? What direction is the right way to go? How can I find something life-giving among so many life-denying choices? In the midst of so many things falling apart, how do we choose life and go on? Perhaps we can take a lesson from nature.
This fall has been quite confusing in D.C. Not only did we have snow before Halloween, but now we have had temperatures in the 70’s in the 3rd week of November. What can be more confusing than that? Well, many things maybe, but what I witnessed in nature this past week is a most amazing response to the confusion. The cherry trees all over D.C., while loosing their leaves this fall are also struggling to bloom! That’s right. Cherry blossoms in November. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.
So next time we don’t know what to do in a confusing situation, perhaps we need to mirror nature and simply bloom. We could bloom with kindness, or forgiveness, or understanding, or offering someone a second chance. Just remember to bloom, no matter how confusing it may be. Because the blossoms of our confusion just may be the graced moment of our day where God is reaching out to touch us and through us, touching others.
Music is the most amazing thing! It has the ability to speak without words and express what can’t be expressed in any other way. Imagine how proud I am to be the parent of a very creative and accomplished musician! Jared has loved music from the day he was born. I can still remember him accurately carrying the tune to Sesame Street long before he could talk! He not only writes, performs, and composes music, he teaches it as well. Music is his life and his major form of expression. He has just launched a new website and I am proud to recommend him. If you (or anyone you know) have ever wanted to learn to play the guitar, Jared is the teacher for you! Check out Jared’s new website!
Music, like grace, comes in many forms. When we can’t express ourselves in words, music is there to help us express ourselves in a universal language. Our gratitude, sorrow, joy, excitement, or lament can all be expressed with notes that can be understood throughout the human community. If you appreciate the gift of music, thank a musician, and rejoice that you are able to embrace the grace of a universal language.
Whenever it gets too cold, or too hot, or I’m too cranky, or overworked, or depressed, I know of one way to revive my spirit. I go to the water. It doesn’t matter where – a pond, or steam, or little lake will do, but the ocean is the most powerful. Recently, after living many, many years on the West Coast, we traveled for the weekend to the farthest edge of the East Coast nearest to us. We visited Ocean City, Maryland and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Both are spots of enormous beauty! In the face of so much water rushing continuously on shore and pulling back again, it’s easy for me to gain a little perspective and revive my spirit. Just as the waves repeat their actions, and nothing is lost in their coming or going, our lives will continue on no matter what is crashing toward us. There is a lesson in the ocean for me: Water is life-giving, but it can also cause death and destruction – treat it with respect. We must treat our lives, and all the events that wash over us, with respect as well. Just as the water is teaming with life, although we can’t always see it, so the events of our lives, both the good and the not so good, bring new growth and deeper meaning for us even though at times we cannot see that either. I let the wave action rushing toward me and pulling back again remind me of the actions of the Holy Spirit – ready to drown me with love in my need, and allowing me to float above the chaos, but pulling back when I can carry on by my own strength. Yes, there is no doubt that even a moment at the beach is filled with grace. What do you do to revive your spirit and find grace in your day?