In recent weeks there has been a few themes that have blossomed in my own little corner of the world.  I often think of them the same way my Mom makes her infamous popcorn... old school style.  As the oil sizzles on the bottom of the pot, you never know which kernel will suddenly burst in its glorious white goodness.  Things are always percolating below the surface and then suddenly they just burst - with inspiration, epiphanies, challenges, change and perspective. Growth.

Now, the idea of a theme has many connotations:
As defined, it can be a focal point - topic of discussion, unifying element, motif - like the visual topic, in a work of art. In music, it is the principle melodic subject, that is often revisited.  In Grammar, it is the common idea, or "the root".  It is the groundedness of the story.

And so, the grounded, rooted, common melodic theme that has just floated through my life is... bah da da da. Togetherness.  Koinonia. Devotion. Ezer Kenegdo...  Each of these words has a distinct meaning when it comes to the melody of togetherness.  Koinonia is a word that came across my plate a few years ago when doing a Bible study with some girlfriends - it specifically touches on the idea of communion and fellowship. Ezer Kenegdo is the idea of having a helper for your life.  It is the word that was used to describe what Eve was to Adam - she was created and fashioned with intention - to be his helper for his life.  So, with all these words of togetherness, how does this apply to me - A single, twenty-something who wrestles with her own restlessness and tries to pull it all together... mostly on my own.  What does that mean to have and share and desire devotion and togetherness in the ebb and flow of my life?

I don't know.  It is still developing, changing and becoming.  But I know it's not just the end of the road that matters, it's each step that is taken on the journey and each hint that I get. To be a part of any of these "theme words" you must be exactly that - a part of something larger than yourself.  You are one half of an irreplaceable part in a friendship or a family, a relationship or maybe a marriage.  Without you, there is no togetherness - there is no devotion when I am nothing more than "ck flying solo"... (inner pep talk dialogue to myself as much as any of you who read my ramblings.. ) 

It is my nature to want to help, care for and support.  I feel alive and needed when I am in a care taker mode.  I have strong reservations in the department of letting someone else take care of me, allowing someone to see when I am vulnerable and in need, in an in-depth sort of way.  I put up a little buffer, where I rarely ask for help outside of my own immediate family.  As long as I can remember, it has made me slightly uncomfortable, like I shouldn't allow someone to go out of their way for me.  There is an element of "if I never ask, then maybe I won't be disappointed when something falls through the cracks, or there is no follow through." So I stopped. When the opposite happens, I certainly don't expect it and feel immeasurably indebted to that person in those instances.  I know, this is absolutely ridiculous - what is it that gets in my way?  Pride? Fear of disappointment?  Maybe.  So these things paralyze me and I never move from the same pattern of never ask, and my buffer stays perfectly in tact.

Like so many, I don't want to need help.  We live in a culture of complete self-sufficiency, but needing one another is a built-in aspect of our humanity- that which connects us to each other. So when I discover I need as a part of my human condition, and encounter someone ready and willing to be there for me in my need, I am humbled.  As I expose these unknown, unrecognized aspects of the deep crevices of my heart, I ask myself, what does it mean for me to be steadfast, courageous and enduring -  to live in the mystery of togetherness, to give and take and ask and receive?  Maybe it's less about steadfast and courageous and enduring - those come easy to me, maybe for me in my own journey it's about letting, allowing and receiving...   

I am a fixer.  I shine when I am put in work situations that require creativity, restructure, in depth thoughtful and holistic planning, understanding and patience.  I don't do so well when I can only see one small corner of the world.  I need to see the whole story and how each part is connected to it - (throw back to being an Interdisciplinary Fine Arts Major) - it is about the relationship of that one thing to everything else.  I tend to make good decisions, because I see how good decisions affect my life as a whole.  I want to please, follow the rules and make everything OK for those who surround me.  It is still a little hazy around the edges...  But what I am learning, is that it is OK for me to want and need that same devotion, koinonia and togetherness in the varying degrees we should receive it as people.  It is OK for me to ask for it.  And of course, at the very core of my search to understand God's breath and spirit moving in my life, I have come to realize that I cannot be in the fringe of togetherness with God - no matter where I hide or how much buffer I add to the surface.  There is no fringe when there is God.  The Spirit is all encompassing.  And that is what I look to for my example... Which leads me then to Ephesians 3:16-21

Now, usually, when a little ditty like Ephesians comes across my plate, I pay attention, mark it in my Bible, see how it applies to my life and move right along.  It takes a sec to sink in. When something comes across my plate twice, OK, I'm paying attention,  what are you trying to tell me?.. but 5 times in the last 3 weeks?  It seems as though there is someone trying to get my attention and I should wake up and start thinking, talking and meditating seriously on what impact the words have:

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

When these words were spoken to me in a sermon a few weeks ago they sparked tears in my eyes - I need the reminder of how wide and long and high and deep God's love is and how far that love goes to root me - back to the theme - to center me, keep me on track, remind me, keep me, protect me, stretch and grow my insides, teach me what I am lacking.  Then, the example was given to use these words not only as a reminder, but as a prayer - replacing "You" with whomever you wished to cover with these words.  And I did.  

You see, my reminder has been - God is at work and certainly not done... ever. And what is my track?  My track is exactly my gifts - that which sets me apart.  My list that makes me exactly my own - an original, an only - these things are the things the Spirit moves within me.  And the Spirit knows my weaknesses and will constantly challenge me to be better.  Life is not about sitting on the hamster wheel and running the same track.  And so steady as we go, we grow.

So, I ask as you read this - what moves you?  What sets you apart, makes you feel calm, whole and filled?  Seek it - grow it in your insides... "In him who is able to do immeasurably more than we all ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..."  There, is the Spirit that moves.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.