flip-flops crunching rocks and sand
towels around necks
heavy-laden daddies and coolers
passing babies over the bow
warm boys snuggled close
squinting through brilliant evening sun
beer and bratwurst
chips and salsa
pudgy hands chasing ants
never-ending rocks for throwing
following the sun home
squealing, shrieking, singing balance out
an arm for each
grabbing tight through freighter trails
sleepy eyes and heads
majestic mountain darkens
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
These two words have been playing off each other in my brain for a couple of weeks now. I guess it started when our pastor preached a sermon about Sabbath, and that same week there was an "Art Night" at church. I'm not sure if that was coincidence, but this quote (used in the program for the Art Night) pairs the two together in an interesting way:
“Like visitors to an art gallery who arrive 20 minutes before closing time we rush from exhibit to exhibit, fearful that we shall miss something worthwhile. The horizon of our own finitude haunts us, and we rush to cram as much as we possibly can into the available space, traveling ever faster and further, seeing and tasting more, trying out as many options as we can while we have the time and, ironically, as a consequence having time for very little at all. Has there ever been a generation with so little time actually to take time and enjoy the world? Always craving the next thing we so often fail to savour the moment offered to us.” (Hope Against Hope: Christian Eschatology at the Turn of the Millennium by Richard Bauckham and Trevor Hart, 178)
I've been thinking about Sabbath and Art as they relate to motherhood. My children are two of the most exquisitely beautiful pieces of art I will ever see, and I am lucky enough to have them with me every day. But so often I am rushing around, trying to make time for everything... failing to savor the moment... haunted by my own finitude.
I can hear God calling me to slow down, to see what He has done, what He is doing... particularly in and through my children. An art exhibit may stay in a museum for weeks or even years, but today is the only day that my children will be who they are right now. What a privilege to hear them laugh, see them grow, help them learn today.
God, bring me out of the rushing chaos and into your Sabbath rest. Thank you for the amazing art you have created in my children. Help me to slow down and appreciate it today and every day. Amen.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Brace yourselves for some honesty. Some raw, middle-of-the-night, why-did-i-drink-coffee-at-7:30-pm honesty. You ready? Here it is:
I am a poser.
If I take a good hard look at myself, I see that apparently my favorite activities are posing, posturing, preening... basically doing what I can to convince the rest of the world I'm pretty awesome. Which I am. See, there I go again! Shoot.
Seriously though, it is really ugly to watch if you know its happening. Take the following conversation I just had with a friend this evening:
Friend: Hey looks like you've been getting some sun lately.
Me: Oh yeah, I'm coaching a swim team so I'm outside a ton. Actually I got sunburned in the rain the other day. (i.e. I defy nature. How awesome is that.)
Friend: (apparently thinks this is interesting and launches into song about getting sunburned in the rain)
Me: Yeah, people are always saying 'Wow, you're tan!' like its a good thing. I forget that people here actually try to get tan... I really try not to, I don't want to get cancer! (i.e. Other people think my tan is awesome, but I am way too cool and health-conscious for that.)
This is just one example out of a million. See how I'm tricky about it? It doesn't really sound on the surface like I'm being a preening, posing, try-hard... but it's there if you're looking for it. Of course I know we all do this on some level; as humans we crave acknowledgment from one another. But it's still not pleasant to see that element of my broken human nature up close.
Why does it bother me so much? Because ultimately I want to become someone who has lost the taste for that, who no longer craves it. I want to believe God when He says that His grace is sufficient. I want to stop hearing it and start listening to it. I want to live on the razor's edge of face-to-the-dust humility and eyes-to-the-sky worship.
So here's something true I can say about myself - no posing or posturing now. My most precious asset is intimately linked with my most horrible fault, for I am the worst of all sinners (1Tim 1:15) and yet Christ loves me and died for me (Rom 5:8).