confession: there are times for me. sometimes long seasons of time, when it feels like life just hasn’t given me as much room to live and move and breathe as i’d like. as much room to grow as i’d like. there are just too many limits. and my spirit longs for more freedom. i know that sounds a little whiney. it actually feels whiney and embarrassing to type onto this page. but it is honest for me to say. sometimes i whine about my lot in life. even when i don’t speak it out loud or write it down somewhere for someone to read. there can be a discontent voice inside of me.
last week offered me some great moments with my family of origin. dad, mom, marcy, nance, and edi. we spent several days together at mom and dad’s place in arizona. on friday we all hopped [well, i guess i didn’t hop…] on a pontoon and toured the shores of canyon lake. was a beautiful day! and as norman was at the wheel i snapped a few hundred pictures of most everything in sight. eagles, water foul, rock formations, family behaviors, plant life so different from iowa plant life. was a very enjoyable time.
and as i was looking through photos when i got back home, this theme emerged for me in the slide show above: these plants grow in such unlikely places. what kind of beauty grows out of a crack in a massive piece of rock? or hangs onto a vertical cliff and thrives there? but look at these humble examples of life. a seed finds a place to rest. or gets stuck in a crevice. and it does what comes naturally; it allows itself to open up and let life grow from within. somehow the metaphor translates into humanity for me, and i am inspired. i am spurred on.
i’m preparing to share some of my thoughts about living well, living purposefully with a disability for a conference next month in lincoln, nebraska. but i think such thoughts are not necessarily limited to only those with some kind of disability. some kind of physical limitation. i think there are a lot of us who at one time or another look at our lives, our gifts, talents, skills [or lack of gifts, talents, skills] and whine about the tiny little crack that we’ve been given to put down our roots and grow. to do what’s in our power to make something of our lives. something that is purposeful. something of value to offer to the the human community around us.
the Creator speaks to me in his handiwork. in the beauty of creation and the mystery of life itself. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” [Romans 11]. whatever the seed of our gifts, talents, skills, hearts… and wherever it is that we’ve found places to put down roots and grow, let us trust in the depths of his wisdom and knowledge in doing what he has done.