wooing us into a moment of trust.
*listening to some solid Johnny Cash on this fine, chilly, Saturday morning*
To my Canadian readers, it’s Remembrance Day! In the US, it’s Veterans Day. I’m sitting here in downtown Vancouver in a JJ Bean (thanks to J Hans for the recommendation) and before coming into the cozy space, I walked down W Cordova and past the main town square. Everything was nearly ready to go - chairs, wreaths and camera crews getting ready for 11am.
It was weird to think as I walked down the street by myself that just one year ago I was making my way to the National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa. In my own vanity, I remember declaring “fashion over comfort!” and then regretting my decision half way there in my thin leather gloves and peacoat. It was -10. I have never been colder in my life, yet somehow being cold made me focus on the ceremony more. It was beautiful.
Fast forward back to today, and I’m studying here in Van for the day. Crazy how one year makes such a difference.
A conversation that has permeated the past few weeks and even months has been one of uncertainty. I’ve talked about this before, about how being certain makes us feel like we’re in control, like we have something specific to look forward to, and then we cling to that one thing. When I was a child, I had certainty because I knew my parents were in control. Now that I’m doing this “adult” thing, I feel often that I’ve let certainty go by the wayside because there are simply way too many things to either control or plan.
In school, I’m working on my senior thesis and for the creative portion I chose to interview a series of people who are involved with sport in some level or another. Through these interviews, I am asking them to describe and explain the transition OUT of university sport. What was it like? What made it easy or difficult? Each person uses their own words to describe what that process looked like (or will look like) but the one thing that ties them all together is when they say: “having something at the end of graduation made the transition easier”. Being an athlete aside, simply having something to lean on, something to hold on to created for these people a sense of clarity.
For me, I literally have no idea what I am going to do once the end of April hits. Job prospects? Not yet! Travel? Negative. Living in the lower mainland? Potential, but it’s gonna hurt my wallet. There are more unknowns than I can even fathom. It’s scary. I’ve cried a lot. I’ve asked these questions (in no particular order):
Is my degree even worth anything?
Did I make the right decision in a choice of major?
Do I even like what I am doing?
What am I supposed to do next? What if I get it wrong?
What if I go on to do more school and I don’t actually use it?
How on earth do I pay off student debt? I live in Vancouver for pete’s sake!
So much worrying, and despite Him telling me not to worry, I just can’t help it. It’s in my nature. But it’s not in His nature.
Taking you back to Cultivate, my devotional book, I want to share this excerpt from this morning’s poem (with me adding in in square brackets):
Chaos crashed against me. (Literally every day, maybe not quite as extensive as the word chaos)
Tumult intruded upon me.
Breaks berated me. (Can I ever catch one?!)
"Hold your Breath!” they taunted.
“Let He escape you”.
Stop right there.
There is a host of lies that is constantly being forced upon us by everything that our society tells us is what makes us worthy to live a fulfilling life: money, power, wealth, success, advancement, knowledge.
The poem continues:
I searched for silver (referring to Papa’s eyes) but only saw grey.
You spoke peace [Papa]!
Yet wind still howls like mountain’s wolf.
And sea still swirls like raven’s flock!
Did not you tame my tempest [already]?
Breath (Papa God) answered:
"To whom does the sea surrender?"
"For whom will the wind unwind?"
"Have I not named you tempest’s tamer?"
Touch our tresses’ trust.
Feel our friendship’s fingers.
See the stifled storm.
"To tame a tempest," He smiled, "we must tame it together."
I read that aloud to my beautiful friend this morning and we revelled in the fact that He is asking to woo us into this moment to trust Him. He is calling us to be in this moment, right now, right here, being present in the benefits of His love right now. No worrying about the future, He has already stifled the storm.
At the same time, we can’t do it alone, and while He could probably do it all Himself, He calls us into partnership with Him. “We must tame it together” He says in that last line. That’s us, trusting Him, asking that He would move, enabling Him to come into our lives and transform us.
So, with the future in mind, we can have a rested assurance that He is in charge, that He has our best in mind and that it’s in His very nature to breathe life and love into us. Even when we’re fatigued, even when we don’t feel like it, or feel like we deserve it, or feel like He isn’t even there.
I leave you with “Hidden” from United Pursuit, a song that has been played at least three times a day for the past two weeks. Jesus speaks so clearly through the lyrics:
"There was one when I was young
Who knew my heart
He knew my sorrow
He held my hand
And he lead me to trust him”
"You are my vision
My reason for living
Your kindness leads me to repentance
I can’t explain it
This sweet assurance
But I’ve never known this kind of friend"
Be blessed today friends.