Monday, June 5, 2017

These Ordinary Days

Psalm 104:34, “May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord” (NIV).

This is not what I had planned for today.  Here’s how it was ‘supposed’ to go…

After a school year during which I essentially settled for something that was ‘very good’ but not exactly what I wanted, I was going to run myself into the ground for one capstone weekend of singing and dancing and listening to beautiful music played by talented children… some of them mine… and then I was going to go to bed at a decent hour, wake up, and board a plane for Europe.  I was going to put my feet on the ground somewhere I could actually make a difference, loving people I have never met but about whom I genuinely care.  When I started planning this, my good friend Sara asked, “Is this legit or are you running?”  Her question was reasonable, but my answer was honest.  It was legit.  Bring it on.

Except that’s not what transpired.  Instead, after spending fifteen (plus) hours in the driver’s seat of my van, teaching… interviewing… running kids from recital to recital…  After cramming in a date night and a podcast recording…  After eating pizza… followed by leftover pizza… followed by leftover pizza…  I woke up on a rapidly deflating air mattress in the building where our roof caved in a couple of months back, and in a few hours I am going to take my daughters to their piano lesson.  And then I’m probably going to eat some leftover pizza.  And drive for a few more hours.

And for someone who claims to embrace the ordinary, it has become both obvious and painful that this is not what I’d hoped for.

But there’s good news!  If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that things won’t stay the same forever.  After all, this ordinary day is the one after Pentecost… 

Psalm 104:30, “When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground” (NIV).

Create me!  Please, re-create me.

Joel 2:23, “…he is faithful.  He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before” (NIV).

And summer rains, too?  Because I could surely use a downpour right now… as before…

Romans 8:18-24, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have” (NIV)?

Even when what we have is good, may we somehow harness the inner optimists, may we somehow allow just a spark of hope to grow into a flame that does not settle, that does not give up, that does not mistake contentment for hope.  Because it’s the day after Pentecost.  And it’s ordinary.  But:

“Pentecost is an invitation to dream.
For when a community of faith quits dreaming dreams, 
it has little to offer either its members or the wider world.
These dreams involve adopting a
new perspective
on what’s possible,
rousing our creativity to free us from conventional expectations.
They help us see that maybe what we thought was outlandish
actually lies within reach.”
-Matthew L. Skinner

And… reaching…


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