We are so good at putting ourselves and others in boxes. We don’t allow for people to be. Just be. We have an incessant need to figure out which box we fit best in and can’t deal with it when we meet people we can’t put in a box.
I'm spending a lot of time writing at the moment, about being 'awakened'. It's a journey many of us have been through, some of us are in the middle of, and some long for. Some don't even know this journey is available to them! Being 'awakened' is the process of 'waking up' spiritually, to who we are, what our purpose is, and how God wants to partner with us.
Not all of us like to dance. Some people go through all of life without ever giving it a try. Some make a lifestyle of dance and others of us pine for a time where we used to dance as a way of life.
For me, I spent much of my life watching dance, teaching dance and dancing myself. It was when I was crippled by back pain that I started pulling back from the thing I so loved. Now if I see dances and dance movies that harken back to my previous life, I find it upsetting and saddening to think back to how my body used to feel and move.
It's an involuntary action that we do whether we're awake or asleep, thinking about it, or not, resting or running, happy or sad. We all breathe. Sometimes we are more aware of our breathing patterns than at other times. We may try breathing exercises or be intentional about slowing our breathing down for health reasons, but we all go through a large proportion of the day without thinking about our breathing.
What about the breath of God? What effect does that have on my life?
It occurred to me recently how so many of us are essentially sleepwalking.
We go through life, without really participating in it.
We're sat at the game and watching it unfold before our eyes, without ever rolling the dice. We walk through the garden without really ever stopping to see what is surrounding us, and we miss the scent of the flowers, and the feel of the wind on our faces.
Being overcome by something doesn't usually have positive connotations. It implies succumbing to something, giving in to something that is too strong for us to withstand. It's not something that comes with choice, it's something that overpowers us and that goes against our will.
This is a picture painted with the colour of fear, and doesn't appeal to even the strongest of us.
What if that is exactly what needs to happen?
I hate cheesy New Years blog posts that try to convince you that the passing of a new day will somehow magically cause a reset in our lives, and that we get to start again come 00:01 on January 1st.
So this won't be one.
We don't get to hit reset. We have to live with all that went down in the previous year, and although we may have renewed hope that the next year will be better, there is no guarantee of this, and we don't always know how to make that happen.
I just got home from 10 days away on the Ascend Carmel program, where I serve on the leadership team. Many amazing things happened during this 10 days, most of which are not my stories to tell. But the thing that most impacted me about this 10 days away, was the courage that the participants showed in being vulnerable.
Recently I've been thinking a lot about how we have to walk through lessons and seasons more than once. It's a shame we don't learn all we need to learn the first time we encounter a lesson. Like children, it seems that we need constant reminders and experiences that help us re-learn the lessons He needs us to learn.
“When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” - John 6:12
This verse is so powerful. Within the context of the story one could pass over this verse and think only of the left over food that the disciples were seeing. But if we dig a little deeper, it can transform how we view the events of our life.
Blind obedience is really hard. I see this in my kids, they want to know why, when, what and a million other questions along the way, but don't often obey blindly. Actually I'm kind of glad, because it means they question things in a healthy way, but there are times when we do just need to plain obey.
Desert is a dry, difficult place to be, with little or no physical refreshment to the body. Hot sun, dry heat, no water, and dangerous conditions, it's not a place to get lost! But for some reason God wants to 'allure' us there.
Ever dreamed of something, worked towards it tirelessly, imagined life as if the dream were the reality, but eventually given up on it? I think most of us have. We all have a deep place in our souls where we dream of what we could be. Our dreams for ourselves were often God's dreams for us, before he gave them to us to dream. I haven't often met someone whose childhood dreams bear no relation to who they are.