Wednesday, March 30, 2011

thoughts from the student driver

The other day I was driving behind one of those vehicles with the big yellow ‘pyramid’ on top that says “Student Driver.” I feel really sorry for the people in that car. I’m pretty certain they could be suffering from whiplash today. The student looked to be a teenage male, obviously embarrassed by the huge pyramid on the car that outed him as a student, though seemingly getting a kick out of abruptly slamming the car to a stop at each red light.

As the paranoid driver behind them, and eventually next to, and in front of them, I watched with each screeching halt as the student nervously giggled and sneaked a peek in the rear-view mirror, discretely glancing to be sure his chuckling buddies in the backseat thought he was cool, and not inept.

I thought quite a bit about this student driver over the weekend. Something about him stuck with me. Something about him made me sad.

Maybe it’s just teenage antics, but it was sad to me that this boy was seeking a good time and peer approval by his obviously intentional and dangerous actions.

But IS it just teenage antics?

Probably not. Unless we’re all teenagers. Haven’t we ALL been guilty of some measure of this?

Have you ever focused more on what will grab the attention of others, than on living the life you were meant to live? Trying to get approval, acceptance- or maybe even love- from places you weren’t meant to find it? We can so easily lose track of who we were created to be, and instead wander aimlessly in a desperate attempt to be what our emotions or someone else tells us we should be… sometimes, even if it means stripping ourselves of our very moral backing. Excuses are made, judgment is thrown to the wayside, and we cast our pearls before swine, all for a chance to strip ourselves of a label we despise, and “belong” in the eyes of another.

But there is only one place you need to belong. And you already do.

You were thought through, perfectly created, fiber by precious fiber, for something special and unique.  God has showered you with purpose, and the person you were created to be is just enough.  There is no need to keep looking in the rear-view mirror for the approval of someone else.  Embrace and live, instead, the days that were ordained for you from the depths of time.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

the journey… 3 years in

Humidity hung in the air like a wet towel, heavy and drenched and draped over the clothesline of a sparkling jewel-blue August sky. It was the kind of day that makes your skin long for cool water and a swift breeze. An entire afternoon of blazing sunshine belonged to just me and my sweetheart, and we were on a quest to "get away."

We decided to take a walk and do a little exploring in unfamiliar territory. The sign read "state park" in the dead of summer, but the parking area and adjoining paths were bare as bones.

As we walked, the solid, cool path beneath our feet became lopsided sand, while our sweet conversation and casual gazing at the blanket of shading trees overhead gave way to silent and determined focus. Not only had our firm trail become shifting sand, it had become steep, difficult to traverse, and fully exposed to the heat of the noonday sun.

For quite some time, we hiked. With the heat threatening to smother our desperate lungs and sand plastered to our moist skin, we hiked. And suddenly, as we came over a particularly treacherous hill, we caught an unforeseen glimpse of total and complete heaven.

We had no idea of the beauty that our laborious path was leading us to. All at once we were re-energized and couldn’t move fast enough towards that water. And after a few more dune climbs...

…we were there.

It was glorious.

I could have stayed there for eons. And the heat and unexpected sweat of the journey there made it all the more sweet.

... ... ... ...

Today, I celebrate three years of marriage to my best friend.

I can’t help but think about how our hiking adventure that day so closely resembles how it feels to journey through life with the most incredible man in the world. Many days, the path is less stable and remarkably steeper than we expected, but in God’s goodness, we come over each precipice to see His hand at work in our lives: our son; our calling; God’s always-timely provision. And for a moment, we are propelled forward, catching glimpses of the purpose before us, stealing us away into our dreams for the future.

I love loving you, Jason.

I could stay here for eons. And the heat and unexpected sweat of our journey makes it all the more sweet.


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