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Monday, May 7, 2012

Lilacs, Shoe Throwers, and Endurance: Remembering Who is in Charge, and Being Still

It's lilac season in the Central California mountains.

I love this time of year.  I hate this time of year.

 I woke up to a flurry of emails 
about typical end of the school year special education stresses.

 May is rough.

But the lilacs are lovely.  There are fields of them around here, and they adorn yards everywhere.  In the center of town, some of them are enormous, like trees.  I imagine they have been around longer than I have, probably much longer.

They have grown so large and sturdy and stately because they have endured.  Through times of plenty and times of rationing, they have soldiered on, simply standing still.  They have celebrated in the roaring twenties; buckled down and lived on less throughout the Great Depression.  I'm sure that they saw a thing or two in the sixties. They've seen grown little boys returning home from wars, and a few good sized California earthquakes.

All the while, they stood still, basked in sun when it was available, slept when it was time, and drank in the water and nutrients that they could.  And it shaped them into something magnificent.

I've had some stresses of my own, I suppose, as I look back over my four and a half decades of life.  As I contemplate the times that seemed debilitating, it was generally due to fear,....fear of loss, fear of change, fear of inadequacy,...and it generally has occurred during periods when I was operating under the delusion that I was in control.

We tend to develop big ideas for ourselves, we humans.  We tend to think that things are in our hands, and to forget who it is that hung the stars.

Maybe you don't, but I do.

I tend to think that I can keep everything going, straighten it out, repair it, make it right, and keep it that way.  Then, I begin to think that I must do these things.

Truth is, I'll be lucky if I can just get dinner on the table.

The machine is much bigger than we are, and we can only do our part.  The people who throw shoes in our works,... the people who pass judgment...they cannot see into our souls, and they do not care to.  They have their own agendas in mind.

Our Lord is the only one who can see the heart; he is the only one who has the full scoop.  He is the only one who will stand in final judgment...and...he is the one in charge.

I don't need to be.  You don't need to be.

We only need to stand still, bask in the sun when available, sleep when it is time, and drink in the water and nutrients that we can.

We only need to strive to have Christ in our hearts, and to be Christ to the world.  We only need to strive to provide the best Christlike service that we can in a broken world.

We only need to get dinner on the table, and be still.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  ~Proverbs 3: 5-6 

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  1. <3 This darn near brought a tear to my eye. No words for how deeply moving this was. <3

    Here's hoping the stress in the inbox gets moved to the outbox as soon as possible (or better yet, the trashcan!).


  2. You are so right that we tend to forget who hung the stars. I love the photos. Oh, how I wish I could smell them now. Lilac is my favorite smell!

    Following your blog now. I hope you have a moment to stop over at my blog and follow if you'd like!


  3. I recently read an article that mentioned that May was getting to be just as busy as December --- end of school events, Mother's Day, graduations, etc. In my family, it's birthday season as well, so I can certainly relate to the 'busy hubbub' kind of feeling. I have a hard time slowing down as well.

    Thanks for linking up to Saints and Scripture Sunday!

  4. Oh, this is so good, so true! And so much what I've had to battle right from the start of my Christian life -- which had to mean also the end of my flesh life. God taught me my need to quit trying to take the big bulls by the horns and wrestle them all to the ground (tiny me?), and in the only way I suppose I would learn: by giving me overwhelming situations for which I couldn't do other than admit inadequacy, and resort to His power alone. But that old self thing (overinflated sense of responsibility) keeps popping up, and I constantly need the kind of reminder you gave me here.

    Thanks for the laugh in the middle, too. Because "Truth is, I'll be lucky if I can just get dinner on the table" too!

  5. I love your lilac picture I miss seeing them in the spring but there are pretty things about livin in TX

  6. I love the idea of all that these standing-still miracles of creation have "seen" with the passage of time. I believe you've inspired me to write a post about a lilac tree in the front yard of my childhood home. My memories have really been stirred by this post.

  7. Hi Michelle, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  8. happy mother's day! (is it mother's day where you are? lol)


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