i sat today and listened.  i listened to my grandfather and grandmother.  i listened to 55 years of marriage.  to a lifetime filled with 6 kids, well over a dozen grand-kids and a overflowing with memories.  i listened as my grandfather told me about their honeymoon, and how in the middle of florida they stopped at a roadside orange stand and had the best, fresh-squeezed orange juice they’d ever tasted.  about how they bought oranges; a dozen for $0.20.

and more importantly, i listened as he told me that 40 years to the day later, they stopped at that same orange stand, and shared a glass of orange juice.

that was 15 years ago.

i listened to stories of living life.  and sat in awe as i realized that my nearly 80 year old grandfather and 70something grandmother drove from New York to Texas to spend time with their daughter and grand-kids.  i listened as their stories and memories, both old and new, echoed in my heart.  i listened as what they said sank deeply into who i am and stirred even more so, desires and dreams that have long lain dormant.

how would you live if you knew that the memories of a lifetime, a lifetime spent with the one you love, could soon be gone?  how would you live if you knew that your time on this earth was shorter than it was when you were 29?  would you take the time to listen?  to learn?  to feel and hurt and love like you always wished you could?  would you go out on limb more often than you played it safe? would you, if only for a moment,  stop focusing on your five year plan and focus the next five minutes on those you loved?

i’m not advocating living life like your last day on earth is tomorrow, but i know that i spend too much time fearing and preparing for the future.  i know i’ve missed opportunities.  to go out on a limb, to say i love you, to look like a fool.  

maybe i’m realizing that i need to go out on that limb, and tell that person i’ve been thinking about that well, i’m thinking about them.  maybe this burning deep inside is a call to go deeper, to pray harder and to fall more so into these arms of grace.  maybe i’m learning that living life on a limb, so to speak, is exactly how we’re called to live.  we’re called to live as He did.  we we’re called to live life on a limb, trusting that if we make a mistake or a wrong decision, that His everlasting arms of Grace will catch us.

we were called to dance as david did.  unashamed even if the world thought we were nuts.

so where does this leave me?

not where i want to be.  because without His strength, i will never be able to puncture this bubble i’ve so adapted myself to living in.  i’ll never go out on the limbs i need to go out on.  i’ll never experience the thrill of seeing life from the tops of the trees, and the utter gratitude of feeling His arms catch me when (not if) i fall.

40 years from now, will you have your orange stand moment?  will you stand with the one you love, full of memories made, and expectant of memories waiting to be made?  will you be able to stand and know intimately the catch of your Saviour?  will you have the stories to pass on to your grand-kids?  will you look on expectantly at another 15, 20 or even thirty years?

will i?

so maybe this morning i’m remembering what this season represents.  maybe im realizing that even though i know the resurrection story backwards and forwards, i am still in need of its reality in my life every day.  

the one i call Saviour lived His life loving those who came across His path.  He lived His life walking the road, the destiny His Father had chosen for Him.  He lived His life to the fullest, and countless generations since then have found the courage to do so, by remembering the life He lived and the impact He had on this earth.  i need that courage, that passion, that determination to love like i should, to climb the tree and be considered a fool.  

trusting doesnt come easy for me.  and if i were honest, id say that praying prayers of surrender and trust, come even harder.  i find it hard to reconcile my own experiences with a loving, faithful God who catches those who fall.  i find it hard to understand why it feels like i wasnt caught.  like i slammed into the ground more times than i can count and why i feel like i’m not somewhere in the tree learning to climb higher, but that i’m on the ground miles from tree i should be climbing.

there was a time when i could let things like this go, that i could just trust and when something didnt add up, i could trust my Saviour to have my best in mind.  i could trust His nail scarred hands to keep me.

i know, that when i look back on this time, i’ll realize that He did indeed catch me, and that even though i feel utterly alone, im not.  i’ll realize that this is some part of His grand scheme.  and that this is birthing in me something deeper than i currently realize.

but ya know what God?  i dont see that right now.  and i could sure use some light.

Stavesacre – Wither/Ascend

the pain will come 
with the morning sun 
will the night betray the day 
blistered skin 
withered from within 
scratch to shed this shell away 
will you know my name 
or will i hang my head in shame 
will someone take this tired skin 
that i’ve been dying in 
will someone hold me to the light 
and if I die tonight 
then take this broken man 
and wrap me tight within 
this brand new skin 

watch me fly 
freedom like wings and i will use them 
freedom like wings and i will spread them wide 

watch me fly… 
freedom my wings… 
freedom my wings… 

and rise 

 

one day my ashes will return to earthly slumber 
spread far and wide across the desert and the sea 
until then i will live each day in awe and wonder 
look forward to each sunrise

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