Friday, September 3, 2010

Arms open and outstretched...

I'm having kind of a bumpy fall, so far. I feel a little off-balance for some reason...nostalgic, fragile, emotional. Some of that is probably the inevitable let-down after the crazy rush and push of a harvest season. Some of it may be due to the intense season of study in which I've immersed myself -- the highs and lows that come with some authentic spiritual revelation. This is also "back-to-school" time, which means something completely different when your "children" are now "adults." My baby turned 20 last week. My baby! How did this happen?

So I'm trying to find balance. My natural inclination is to straighten up, shake it off, slap a smile on my face and soldier on. (Any other firstborns out there?) But lately, I've been giving myself permission to experience whatever season I find myself in. Not that I plan to wallow in melancholy, but I'm not going to deny it either. When irrepressible joy bubbles up (as it always does) I'm not going to squelch it - I'm going to revel in it. I don't want to miss the lessons of each season.

I read a passage in The Message translation the other day that tied together a lot of things I've experienced in recent weeks so I've chosen to memorize it - Jude 1:20-21a.

"But you, dear friends,
carefully build yourselves up
in this most holy faith
by praying in the Holy Spirit,
staying right at the center of God's love,
keeping your arms open and outstretched,
ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ."

Carefully build yourself up in the faith - by praying, staying in the center of God's love. I love the picture of "arms open and outstretched" -- ready to receive mercy, but also to dispense it.

I pray for God's blessing and mercy on you -- as you fully experience this season of life.