Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wisdom From a Life In Bloom: Part 4

Over the summer, I started a series called Wisdom from a Life in Bloom – taking the quotes from a little book I got several years ago from Coldwater Creek and seeing where they lead. Of course, this became that and life intervened and that category is still relatively small in my lineup of things I write about. But the beauty of something like this, this writing, blogging adventure, is that you can always go back and jump right into the midst of where you were before.

So where was I …

Learning to be alive while we’re alive
It seems to me that we can never give up longing or wishing while we are alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good and we must hunger for them.

George Eliot

Don’t you know that the image for this quote is a glorious Japanese maple (like the image here by Gary Liddell) exploding in fall colors? How perfectly perfect for a reentry into this most colorful of seasons.

What captures me the most as I stare at this picture and absorb these words is how autumn is a metaphor for both of these things: this longing and wishing for beauty and goodness and other intangibles that do not reveal themselves until a waning season in our life. Not the waning season – I’m not trying to be morbid – but there are seasons that come and go as we age and mature, and it seems to me in my experience, that it is when we are in the letting go phase, that we suddenly see how beautiful something has been. Or perhaps not even beautiful, but just the value that it has had in our lives. And then we cherish it even more for what we know now.

Photo Credit: Gary Liddell
But what if we could see that now? What if we could set aside the minutia that swirls around us like a blinding sandstorm; the daily grind that throws up distractions and disillusions – calling for our attention here and our signature there? What if we could learn purity of focus – a strengthening of our lens – so that we saw the beautiful and the good at the forefront of every day? What would that look like?

Whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8 ESV

Then, seeing these things and hungering for these things, what would we do? How would we act? How would the rendering of our lens change the actions of our everyday lives?

Would we be more ready with a smile? Would we be willing to extend and arm – or more if called upon? Would we be willing to ask a friend or acquaintance “how are you?” and really wait for their answer? Would we look past the presumed “fine” to see if everything really was fine, or if, perhaps, there was a hurting heart in need of comfort and grace that could held in our hand and brought back into the light of living?

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1 ESV

I believe that if we are longing and hungering for the good and the beautiful then we will often be called out of our comfort zone – seemingly opposite of what we’re looking for – we will be called into the dark and the ugly to be the bringers of light; the carriers of peace; and the bestowers of love to the edges of our world (our personal world that leads to our global world) to spark a change that we can only make when we have the Light of Life within our hearts.

And by opening ourselves up to this hunger for what God calls us to; by allowing our hearts to awaken to His desires for our lives; by relinquishing ourselves to whatever service He has for us; by being alive while we're alive, we will find our other hungers satisfied like never before.

They shall feed along the ways; on all bare heights shall be their pasture;
they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,
for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them.

Isaiah 49:9b-10 ESV

Where are you being called?
To whom and to where will you bring beauty in your world?


  1. Love this!! I think your right that if we long for this we will be called out of our comfort!! True!

    1. Thank you Jenn - I know you've been reading Awake. I'm can't wait to read it and get some more motivation!

  2. Oh my how I love this... (and you know of my adoration for all things Autumn!) Ah - to let go of our death grip on Comfort... that is the call in these days, is it not? To be brave... to lean in... to press on! So happy to be doing it with you, friend!

    1. We'll be partners and kindred spirits in this too, then! Amen and amen.


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