Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘courage’

clutterDe-cluttering – is it grieving and letting go of lost friends, unfinished projects, unfulfilled dreams and failed relationships? Or is it just … cleaning up?

I recently cleared out a pile of boxes that had been hidden – literally covered up by a large cloth – in my house.

A lot of wisdom was stored in those boxes. And some home truths.

My ‘personality profile’ from 1996. I still have the same strengths and weaknesses, only now that I have kids and a ‘bigger’ job, the stakes are higher.

Articles, stories, poetry, essays written in the 1970s and 1980s – I was a fine writer then, but I am a better writer now. The words on those yellowed pages have languished for decades in an old box. But they are a part of me.

Letters, cards, address books, diaries, yearbooks from different seasons of my life. Crumbled corsages that still have the faint scent of gardenia. People who have come and gone, leaving me with fond memories, and regrets.

Junk. Broken trinkets. I don’t even know what some of this stuff is. Ugly ornaments that I kept because they were gifts, but I don’t remember who gave them to me any more. So much useless stuff in our lives.

Art from my childhood. I had forgotten how much I liked to draw and paint. And sing! As an adult, how hard it is to just enjoy doing something when we have been told we are “not good at it”.

Phone lists, agendas, meeting notes. People whose lives I have touched – as a youth leader, as a mentor, as a boss. Did I make an impact? Did I make a difference? It’s like dropping a pebble in a lake – the ripples are out of sight by the time they reach the shore.

My high school prom dress. Skinny jeans. Teeny t-shirts. Did these clothes really fit me?

In the end, I reduced the stuff by half. The rest is carefully stored for the next time I want to revisit the memories – and lessons – of the past.

The cleaning up was easy. But maybe letting go takes a lifetime.

Seeker

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

One special moment of many in the Holy Land.

Camel at dawn

Dawn on Mount Sinai

My camel plods steadily up Mount Sinai in the dark. Her cushioned feet make a soft crunch on the ground as she steps deliberately up the path, one large foot at a time.

I am bundled in a warm fleece jacket against the crisp cold, sitting high up in my comfortable saddle. Holding securely to the worn, wooden pummel, I am accompanied by my moon shadow, riding up the mountain with me. My shadow and I are both sitting tall and easy in the saddle, breathing deeply the cold, fresh air. A slight odour of musty camel and camel dung drifts past on the light breeze. Overhead, the stars shine like brilliant jewels in the clear, dry night sky.

I hear the guttural grunts and grumbles of the camels, and the calls of the camel drivers behind me. A radio blares for a while, then is silenced. I feel alone with my camel on this dark, rocky mountain.

The camel takes a small mis-step and slips a little on the loose stones. I peer down a dark, steep precipice, but I am calm and trust my camel completely. I continue to feel the rhythm of her steady steps up, up, up the mountain. Imperceptively the black sky lightens and I can see into the dark crevasses. Somewhere a bird sings a pure, simple two-note song.

The grace that has brought me here, to this place, to open my heart to God, brings me to tears. And my heart overflows as God pours in all that I need to sustain me on my journey: life and beauty, joy and love, awe and wonder, gratitude and peace, courage and strength.

An hour later, we arrive at the summit at dawn. Suddenly the camel pitches back and forth, settling down onto her calloused joints to allow me to dismount. A little unsteady on the solid ground, I take a moment to find my land legs. Soon I am back to solid reality, two feet on the rocks, my heart singing as I watch the sun rise, knowing that I will carry home the strength of this mountain of God.

Seeker

You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of God, to the Rock of Israel.      Isaiah 30:29

Read Full Post »