On Loss {Part One}

photo-5{photo by @saraparsons via Instagram}

 

I recently went for a walk through some ups and downs, and I mean that both figuratively and physically.

As I step from one season into another, where God is calling me out of my position at Adventures in Missions, and into new ministry and partnerships, I’ve found myself needing to take many walks outside alone, mostly to clear my head, but also to learn how to dream again.

On this particular day, my walk began much like any other, until I realized I could see and hear more clearly. What I mean by that is the trees and colors around me were more vivid. I heard all of the birds in those backwoods of Georgia tweeting and the scurry of little animal feet upon the crunchy leaves beneath the pines.

I hardly bothered to flinch when dogs would jolt up out of their yards from a deep sleep, barking instinctively at me, the intruder who was passing their people’s house. I was in a daze…a trance, almost…fighting for peace as I traipsed through my neighborhood.

pines{photo source: unknown via Pinterest}

 

As I marched, I noticed a couple out in their yard together, enjoying the beautiful day. What struck me about them, though, was they were both participating in two very different disciplines: one, the man, was actively tending to the grounds of their property, aerating it with a special machine he pushed before him, followed by a machine he drug behind him, sowing seeds into the newly aerated and tilled ground. He paced back and forth meticulously, one foot after another, until every inch of his lawn was tended-to.

The woman, however, was actively resting. She sat in the shade on their porch, glancing up from her book occasionally, and I could see the rise and fall of her body as she breathed slowly. She’d allow herself to be distracted by something, it seemed, for as long as she needed, before pulling her attention back to her book. To me, she seemed utterly at ease.

But these two have something important in common: they were both participating, and they were both active.

The world often tells us we have to be going and doing and planning and scheming. And while there’s truth there, in each of our life purposes coming to fruition, there are still other things we must tend to. It may seem typical to some of you–the man of the house hard at work, while his woman just sits and hardly bothers to help. But I am learning there is so much discipline to be found in rest, so long as we don’t use it as a cop-out. And discerning when to rest…well maybe that’s at the heart of the discipline altogether.

This week, I’ve learned more about myself than I have in a long time. And it’s been exhausting {because I haven’t rested when I should}, but incredibly beautiful nonetheless.

What I’ve found is God is simply saying “Daughter, choose.”

Doors are opening and closing left and right, and I must show up to each day with active purposes and disciplines. But when I find myself growing weary and tired, I physically sit down, which is to mimic what Christ did at the right hand of His Father: this action alone declared, “It is finished! The work here is done.”

{Parts Two & Three Now Available}