There Is A Right Time For Everything On The Earth

I don’t know exactly why I stood and stared up at the clock at Union Station.

And found it to be so magical.

So filled with beauty and elegance. Dignity and strength.

But when I arrived at the very busy hub of humanity with the cavernous sense of wide openness mixed with a stirred up bunch of folks from everywhere, I slipped into a trance.

Almost like stirring up a wasp’s nest these travelers rush in and out, on a mission which is their life. On missions which are their lives.

And we were rushing, my group of four. We had so little time. Trying to see D.C. in hours. No way to do it justice. To invest in her beauty. But Time was not to be negotiated with. There was no stretching or extending or borrowing.

But now that I am home and I have time to process, to think back on almost a split second or two of hurriedly passing through Union Station, I have more clarity.

On why I wanted to stand and stare. The marbled elegance drew me in. Her architecture was strong and noble and proud.

But the picture I was determined to snap on the run tells me a story even now days later.

It speaks to me of the delicate nature of holding on to the minutes and moments which are our very days. Of capturing the seconds that tick past. Of holding hard to the time that we have. Cherishing and relishing the all of them.

When I study the photograph I have a sense of calm at the big strong clock face and the steel hands. They seem bold and sure. They have confidence in their telling of the exact time. And I now know exactly when I was there. They are marked these minutes and moments when I was rushing through the station.

They tell me when I stopped and clicked and when I was in awe of her telling. Her showing me time.

I now  wrestle with her, with Time.

Where to invest mine. Where to pour into what He gives me.

How to use my gifts with the Time I have left. When to go and when to stop. How to say yes and when to say no. She looks a little different to me now, Time.

He increases my awareness of the moments and minutes and days. Each measurement of a day is placed under the magnifying glass now. They look bigger and grander. They are more important than even before. The magnifying glass is a gift with which to see. And to gauge.  And then measure.

I am a steward of these grains, these particles, these fleeting fleeing moments of time which are my life.

My stewardship of His precious gift is important. The spending of it. The holding of it. And the loosing of it. The releasing it back to Him. The investing for Him. The seeking ways to serve Him.

I will not kill it, or hoard it. Time. I will not waste it. But rather  I will seek to  spend it wisely. To use it well. But in my own strength and with my own power I am powerless to steward well. It is only in seeking His strength and His wisdom that I can hope for even an ounce of discernment with which to spend it rightly.

So I seek Him to guide. Look to Him to lead. Ask Him to show what to do with the gift He has given. This one of my life, my time, my constantly shaping story.

I have come back home to  a problem which weighs heavy on my soul. It wants to joy-rob and time-steal. It seeks to take my eyes off of investing in the beautiful.

So I release it back to the Giver of all Good Gifts. And lay it down. Seeking His Mercy and His Wisdom. Asking Him to help number and order my days in a way that brings Him glory.

And I do not think He would mind, not even one little bit, if I dreamed of going back to Union Station to stand in awe. To rest. To stare. To wonder in amazement at the big bold beautiful representation of Time there mounted  nobly on the wall.

Looking out and looking forth.

She looks like a picture of Time and she looks beautiful to me.

Eyes Wide Open- Living A Good Story

I am going over to Prodigal Magazine to link up with a writing project entitled “What Does It Mean To Live A Good Story”? But I am not ready to write this piece. Not quite yet. Honestly, its a bit scary.

So this is where I get brave and think with my fingers.  This is where I process and ponder and ask for His grace to be authentic and brave.  And real. And encouraging.

And this is the one where I say that isn’t the most important part of living a good story being awake, fully alive, real and honest.

Isn’t being eyes wide open a really good place to start.  Being present and aware and connected to all of those things around us, around me, anchors  the heart in the lines and paragraphs, in each and every word even, of our good story.

If I fall asleep on the pages or doze off mid-sentence, then I am sadly not present.

There are the parts that are dog-eared.  You know the ones that are marked with brilliant yellow highlighter and turned down page because they are special.  We want to go back there and stay.

But what about the parts which are riddled with conflict, or pain, or sadness.  What about the chapters that are just plain difficult to live once, much less re-live a second time.

Oh but these are the part where the main character is  afraid, very afraid.  This is where fear and doubt creep in. And she tries hard to be brave. These are the parts of the story where we hide our eyes and look away.  We hold our breath and glance away or get out the kleenex.

These are the parts where the husband leaves for a season, and she doesn’t know when and if he’ll return to the home.  And with the brave and the pain come healing and change. And transformation grows out of the dark, wet soil, stained with tears.

The important parts  hold uncertainy. The critical life-altering chapters bear  a fork-in-the-road, a turn or a twist in the life direction.

This is the part of the story where the main charachter digs down deep, cries out for God and is shaped and molded, held and loved and loved and loved some more.

Every good story has Hope and a longing after love in the center. A good story has suspense and uncertainy of the outcome.

There are parts where the heart longs so deeply after the love of another. But waiting is often the most important part.  Without waiting and preparing we would miss so much. The waiting through, the working through, the being shaped in the middle, this IS the story.  This is at the heart of the good story. This is the part we sink our teeth into, it the substance. We savor the sweet and the bitter of the tears and the joy. We taste it all and it is good.

With out waiting and wondering and Hoping there would be a beginning and an end, but what about the messy middle.  Oh, these are the parts where the story gets good.  These are the meaty parts with heart and soul and courage. This is where we linger.  This is where we live.  This is where change happens.  This is the formative part of the story for our main character.

I know an important chapter of a very good story where a mother waited and waited for a baby to love.  To join a little family that had love to wrap around another. A good story  ripens and with the ripening and preparation for birthing the story, the characters are shaped in unimaginable ways.

Our life stories look so different when we glance back and study them from where we are TODAY.  But the only way to live, is to go forward. To live forward. One day at a time. To  go forward with honesty.  Go forward with authenticity.  Go forward through the closed door, the brick wall, the muck and the mire with boldness and faith. And a very brave heart. Open for all that He has for us.

We often would not write nor script what we have lived.  But embracing each word, line, verse and chapter as learning and as our own, makes our story a good one.  Because it is ours. Because it is good since it is ours.

Every good story has an ending.  I don’t know one that doesn’t end whether I am ready for the ending or not.

That is why the messy in the middle, the meat of the center, the rarest, rawest parts are so important.  They are the good story.  They are the good parts.

This is where the bruising comes, the banged up knee and the bloody noses of life. This is where the bankruptcy is declared, and infertility deals uncertainty, and kids change schools, and parents get sick, and friends face tragedy, and loved ones are lost.  And you know all this.  You have your story too.

But a good story well lived takes all the pages between two covers and braced by one spine, and seeks to wrap it all in Grace and all in a thankful heart.

And say this is mine.  This is my story.  And tomorrow will bring joy and surprise and a chance to do a bit of editing and changing of decisions and perspective.

I am not quiet ready to write my piece for Prodigal Magazine.  But I am close. And I am getting braver.  And I am preparing with eyes wide open. But  for today,I have a story to go live.  And for that I am very grateful.

How about you.  You can tell your story too. You can go over there or you can leave me a comment about living a good story.

Thank you for your Grace, here, today.

wishing you His Grace….