Monday, October 17, 2011

Walk It Out

Day 14 (resumed):
[Jesus said:]
“This is how the world will know that you are my disciples, that you love one another.”  John 13:35                 

In the interim between posts, this space that has been filled with so much busyness, I have been asking, “why the need to reclaim my awesome?”  Before I started my examination of this topic, some days, I was left believing I’d lost it, or buried it, or handed it over.  Yet when I had gone looking for it, it was always on the horizon: first I have to accomplish these tasks, earn these merits, prove myself worthy in order to be awesome.  But as I’ve already noted, my awesome is inherent in my design; its reclamation happened (and is continuing to happen) when I exchanged my depravity for Christ’s righteous, salvific work on the cross.  My identity was restored to Awesome.    
Following this restoration, daily attacks have been launched on my awesome to delude me into thinking that my awesome is gone.  To keep me from doing what I was designed to do, be who I was made to be.  Yet the truth is:  
"I -- and every other person in the world-- must say: ‘I have my own special, peculiar destiny which no one else ever has had or ever will have. There exists for me a particular goal a fulfillment which must be all my own -nobody else's...His glory in me will be to receive from me something He can never receive from anyone else -- because it is His gift to me which He has never given to anyone else and never will.’"
- Thomas Merton
I am most aware, more fully embodying my awesome, when I am being who I was made to be; doing what only I can do.  And when I am using my gifts and passions to love and serve others, I am allowing my awesome to be fully alive, through the Holy Spirit’s power.  Frankly, when I am about my Father’s business, I thrum with life, with awesome, with hope, with joy, with a here-and-now kingdom reality.  God’s kingdom announced and demonstrated here on earth: the greatest expression of awesome for which anyone of us may ever hope. 

See this painting here

So in the next few weeks, I will share with you how we can embody our awesome, how to live it out loud.  Find your passion, ignite your awesome; wear it.  Walk around in it; set it free and watch how wildly it abounds.  Its glow will illuminate the countenances of others, because your awesome was designed to call forth the awesome in others, to remind the stragglers and struggling that they are more than this fallen, mute, and grey world tells us.  That they were created awesome.  We all are.

Need a refresher to remember where we’ve been?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Awesome, on pause

I need a snow day.  I realize it’s only October.  But I need the pause that only the freshly powdered silence of an exterior down-comforter can bring.  I need everything to just stop for a moment.  Not slow down, not ease up.  I need a full stop.  One that literally bars me from going out my front door; the kind that demands movies, hot chocolate, snuggling under blankets, and fluff-reading.    

This week alone I have two quizzes, one paper, and one qualifying exam; not to mention I’m officially three weeks behind on the research schedule, and two weeks behind on the midterm prep.  I have the last 3 weeks of an 8-week course in cram into one grand finale.  I have a surprise trip (the kids don’t know yet) to plan for and pack, all while everyone’s asleep.  I have another surprise, in the form of a matinee ballet for the oldest.  And I have a potentially fatal (ok, perhaps slightly dramatic, though this is what the doctor has said for 3 years running) oral challenge for the youngest’s allergy.  [Translation: we’re going to go to the doctor’s office and feed him the one thing he’s never suppose to eat, for fear of death, to see if he’s grown out of his allergy; as the blood work and scratch test show]  Plus, the clean that needs to happen for the guys’ group head over on Wednesday, on top of all the “usual” chores [laundry, feeding people, procuring food, sanitizing surfaces that would otherwise animate because of all the living things growing on them, etc..].  Yeah, I need a snow day.
But, I know in my knower that’s not going to happen.  What to do?  Well, I am begging grace for starters.  Though I will be more Martha than Mary in my hustle and bustle this week, I am going to shut down all the non-essentials.  I am going to spend my time where it matters most.  This doesn’t mean that I’m abandoning my quest for the awesome.  Quite the contrary; I will be gathering all that I can in this next week to make the last seven explode with meaning.  I just won’t be able to present my discoveries the day I happen upon them.  I already have a list going of things I want to share, little jewels I’ve plucked from my days that I truly want to turn over slowly in my hand to appreciate their full beauty.  But that will have to wait until after this week.  Forgive me, reader, if you’re still there.  I am not abandoning you.  I am merely admitting to my limitations.  And for someone who’s constant striving was a hindrance, that’s a freeing thing.    
I’ve heard it taught, so often, that Martha was the baddie and Mary the goodie, as they entertained Jesus.  I would like to submit a “yes-and-no.”  Yes, Martha’s attitude was poor (oh, Martha, I get it!) and Mary’s was good.  But I would like to also point out that in that time and culture, both Martha and Mary had responsibilities, expectations to live up to.  You see, someone had to get everything ready for all the people listening to Jesus.  Somebody had to be the hostess; in that culture it was more than expected, it was required.  Our “things” need doing.  It’s the attitude that counts.  So for the next week, while I’m neck deep in all my things that need doing, I’m going to maintain a thankful heart; an attitude that recognizes that this season is a busy one, full of things I love to do and am so blessed to be a part of.  Not one should be a burden.  In each one I will find joy.  And likely, my awesome, peeking out from behind each, smiling.    

Joining us for our 21 Days of Awesome?  Click on the links below to catch up, or refresh your memory :