Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I am a simple girl.
All twisted up in a life of swirling options.
I get sidetracked easily.
Like a child, chasing after butterflies.
Have you noticed
how distracted the world can be?
It is a very easy age to be entertained to death.
It wraps it's silent hands around the most precious, most scarce of jewels:
our time.
And it steals our focus.
Steals our mental clarity.
I was standing in my basement, gathering laundry,
when like a flood it washed over me.
Knocked me clean-over inside.
I looked there, at my four year old son,
giggling and jumping and playing in the playroom
just a few feet away.
His laugh, infectious.
His joy, exuding.
And I just stood there, basking in his childhood.
In his temporary, whisping status.
He is not a permanent fixture in my home.
He is here, just passing through.
Just passing through.
What distracts me from being all-in?
What takes my time away from getting on my knees,
drinking in the joy, giggling right along with him?
Whatever it is that distracts me, better be worthy.
Extremely worthy.

There is the necessary.
The tyranny of the urgent.
The laundry to graciously consume piece by precious piece.
The dishes to prepare.  To present.  To clean.
The minds to fill.
The necessary ~ yes.
The necessary in and of itself can take the entirety of a day.
Maybe there is even more necessary than there are hours.
It is a matter of sleuthing out priority.
Those precious moments of time,
when the necessary-of-the-necessary are covered...
are fleeting, temporary treasures.
Some to spend on my soul.
And some to pour out into the banks of memory,
which will be all that remains
once childhood vanishes.
All that will last ~
is what I've poured into those banks of memory.
I pray it be a river of life.
I am on a mission to simplify.
Cutting the clutter of all the time wasters.
Of all the wispy, cute little butterflies that flitter across my mind...
and send me chasing.
Distracting me from the worthy.
Distracting me from the main event.
I'm on a mission to elevate the important in my life.
It is easy to think that everything is worthy.
So to help myself gain clarity, all the unnecessary must go, for awhile.
It's just a little experiment of mine.
A journey.
I don't want anything to hold power over me,
and when the thought of deleting facebook made me cringe,
I knew it had to go.

I was walking a street in Milwaukee this weekend.
Turning the corner of Oakland and Bellview.
Walking briskly, frozen snow crunching beneath boots.
Sun spilling and breaking late in the day between naked trees.
Trying to escape the frigid cold.
When I heard it.
A small song.
It hit my soul, woke me up ~ and I stopped.
Right there.
The sound of spring?
My eyes had to search, my ears had to be tuned carefully...
to find it.
And there, yes there--up about twenty feet perched on a branch,
was a Robin.
Orangey-red chest swelled.
Singing her little heart into spring.
And my heart sang with her.
She can sense it.
Despite the cold, the bitter, the weariness of a long winter...
the snow so bright it blinds and makes eyes quench shut...
there are signs of spring everywhere.

Walking through life can be head-down, fast.
Get it done.
Get through.
Focus on the next task.
But what joy we miss, when we are distracted and
flitting from one thing to another? 
There is incredible joy in the simple,
in the simple journey.
In waking up to it.
I want to be alert for the gentle voice of God.
The opposite of alert?  Distracted.  Asleep.
And one of the enemy's greatest strongholds upon our generation?
Putting the soul into a trance-like-sleep.

I know what sleeps me, what reaches out and steals my clarity.
So I purge, and reorder, and find quiet.
Until the cold grip of distraction loses its hold.
I want to leave you with this:
 one of my favorite passages in the Bible.
So.  Good.
May you be listening for Him, my friend.
Elijah, a prophet,
is weary.
He is running for his life.
He is the last one standing for the Lord,
He is alone.
He is full of dread, fear, and defeat.
Overwhelmed, you could say.
And he wants to give up.
And the Lord feeds Him.
Elijah finds strength, and wanders on.
Wanders for 40 days until he reaches a mountain,
and he spends the night in a cave.
And God meets him there.
In Elijah's exhaustion, and his overwhelm.
He speaks to Elijah,
Elijah replies basically: I am alone, and running for my life.
Alone.  Overwhelmed.
And what does the Lord bless Elijah with?
Not treasures, or an army, or instantly taking away his problems--
God blesses Elijah first with the ONE thing that is beyond compare:
His very Prescence.
He tells Elijah...
"'Go out and stand on the mountain in the prescence of the Lord,
for the Lord is about to pass by.'
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart
and shattered the rocks before the Lord,
but the Lord was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake,
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.   
After the earthquake came a fire,
but the LORD was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a GENTLE WHISPER. 
When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face
and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave."
~I Kings 19:11-13
And here is where God
tells Elijah where to go, and what to say.
God, powerful enough to be preceded by grandeur,
A gentle whisper.


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