Every Time: Expect Something Powerful to Happen

I’m listening to a professor who has taught the Bible for over 35 years. He apologizes that he cannot contain himself; he’s gripped with passion for God and His word. God’s word thrills. It captures. 

He remarks that when we read the Bible, we should expect something powerful to happen. We should expect our lives to change. We encounter a God who is faithful and good and who loves us beyond measure. We are gripped, captured, and thrilled by the supernatural. 
We are changed. 
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High and Deep

I’m back in the Rocky Mountains, and I know this truth: What’s above me–the glorious expanse of it that I cannot contain within the scope of my vision–is just as marvelous as what’s barely visible here beneath my feet.

From this height, I remember the beauty of what grows in the Alpine Tundra.

You will not notice these flowers unless you observe what you trample. I’m missing so much wonder in my scrambling to the top.

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Tiny, Perfect

In the past 24 hours, I went to a drive-in movie, saw a very small bunny, smelled a yellow rose, ate a flavor of ice-cream called Oatmeal Cookie Dough, and met the daughter of a friend. This friend I knew years ago way before marriage and children. The sweet baby was tiny and perfect. 

Someone told me on Thursday night that one can’t be thankful and anxious at the same time, as if the brain simply can’t or won’t allow it. I’m testing the theory and finding the joy of rejoicing again in small things, like I did years ago when Live with Flair–my grand experiment!–began.
So I think again about that bunny that I could fit in my palm–that wriggling nose and those little, soft ears. Tiny, perfect things!
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Adapting to the Space

I’m taking a New Testament course from a wise professor in a very small space where I’m scrunched up next to him and other students. When I remark about the awkward arrangement, he says, “You’ve never lived overseas, have you?”

He kindly says, “Something I’ve learned in my life is the importance of adapting to whatever space I’m given.”

Here in my own context, I’m used to expansive space all the time. I live a wide-open kind of life, unhindered and unconstrained. Put me in something small, and I protest.

Lesson learned. 

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“Don’t let the sky keep you from fishing.”

I’m talking to a friend who is about to pack up to go fishing. I remind him about the darkening sky overhead.

He says, “You don’t let the sky keep you from fishing.”

It sounds like ancient fisherman wisdom that’s designed to teach me how to live my life, not just catch trout.

I suppose it might storm. I suppose I could think of a million other circumstantial reasons keeping me from doing what I’m supposed to do–or rather, what I really want to do. I see the darkening clouds of discouragement in various forms.

But then I see the fisherman who packs up the truck underneath a gathering storm.

Fisherman know that the sky doesn’t keep you from fishing.

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Morning Briefing

I realize that most of my failures in a day come about because of the element of surprise. I’m not expecting something, and I’m not prepared with a strategy to act in the right manner. This includes things like overeating when a cheesecake unexpectedly arrives or falling apart in the face of stress with the needs of my children. 

I learn a military technique of the morning briefing to alert soldiers to potential threats, inform them of possible means of attacks, and explain what strategies exist to combat potential threats. I think of the mental preparation associated with the briefing. Some surprise attack may come, so what will we do?
I pause this morning and consider what’s before me today–the potential challenges, temptations, and pitfalls both physical and spiritual. I gather my resources, assess my options, and plan my escape route or my means of resistance. 
I’m ready. 
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Too Heavy Inside

Twice in the last few days, a dark raincloud hovering overhead delivers drops of rain and then floats merrily on. The bright, hot sun still shines all around it. The mighty storm–a few yards in scope–cools down my steaming flip-flopped feet and the few trees around me. It’s such a valiant attempt at a rainstorm from a singular cloud.

I think about the little raincloud that offers what it can despite its size and surroundings. It doesn’t wait for other clouds or a more impactful storm. I know it’s not scientifically accurate, but still, I think that when what it’s carrying inside becomes too heavy, it must rain.

I think about what we hold inside that must come out–those drops of words or images that must fall because they sit too heavily inside our hearts. It never matters how small or influential our contribution (or in what circumstances); when it’s time, it’s time. God know when and on whom these words with fall, no matter how small or large in scope.

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I Declare

This morning in the bathroom stall of an elementary school, I notice that someone has written on the wall a declaration of love. I remember how significant this was in school to declare, in writing, on a wall–or a tree, or a bench, or a chair–your love for someone for the whole world to see.

The impulse to declare, even in the bathroom stall, your heart’s true love, made me smile today. I remember the childlike insistence of it and the pure motivation of the heart just to write it down for the world to know.

Declaring our love in writing for others to see represents something so simple and sweet. And I noticed it.

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This Cannot Be True

All week, I’ve been studying mysteries, paradoxes, and seemingly impossible truths of the Christian faith. Sometimes, I think, “This cannot be true,” or “How can this be true?” when I’m confronted with something that confounds my logic or understanding. Miracles, the incarnation, the trinity or just the fact that we’re spiritual beings housed within physical bodies, for example, can make my mind hurt.

We’re up in the Rocky Mountains in our shorts. It’s so hot. I’m burning up. I’m sunburned and so thirsty that I’ve consumed gallons of water.

And yet. . .

Snow! Snow right here on this hot mountain. But how? It cannot be true, but it is true. Instead of cynicism, doubt, or defeat, we embrace this impossibility and delight in the sublime experience of hiking through snow in the heat.

(It’s so easily explained up here, from this altitude.)

I remember that just because my own set of circumstances means nothing makes sense, from a different, heavenly height, all makes perfect sense.

Here, we race in the heat and we make snowballs at the same time. It is true.

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