The kitchen is a mess with telltale signs of cookie baking; flour is scattered on counter, floor and table. The mixer is still plugged in with sticky dough drying on the beaters, the sink is full of dishes and rich buttery cookies lay cooling and colliding with my sense of smell.
The sky outside is gray-blue and the stiff breezes wrestle with the branches of our newly leafy trees. I wish I could open the windows and let the intoxicating smell of our neighbors lilacs waft into the house, but it is too cold out.
Spring teases; one day it’s warm and the next day it’s cold. Last night I watched as the rain became snow. As I sat on my window seat looking out, giant sloppy flakes passed through the street light like tiny racecars speeding to the ground. This morning spring was back as if last night was a mirage.
This is typical here; the seasons are fickle, not quick to become the next in line. Spring masquerades as winter, fall abruptly turns white with snow and mid-winter sometimes parades around like spring. We dress in layers, pack winter coats in the trunks of our cars in July “just in case” and slip our flip-flops on all year-long whenever the latest snow melts.
I am a lot like the weather here, perhaps because I have lived here nearly forever. I like thing fluid, not tied down, not predictable. It makes life fun, unexpected and fresh, but sometimes as I look back it also feels aimless and I feel frustrated that I have not been more goal oriented. I sometimes wish I were more like those right-brained folks that steadily stay the course and actually complete things. I am a dreamer, I dream big, look far ahead and say a lot of sentences that start with “What if…” What if I settled down and took one path?
Was I created to be a dreamer or is it a character flaw? I slip on my black, muddy, oversized boots and squish and slosh my way into my fields of coriander. Standing in the path, I look up into the heavens and call to the one I love. “LORD, is this what you intended? Did you create me to be this way or are you hoping that someday I will settle down and become more predictable?”
I look around, the water in the nearby stream flows steadily down its bed, taking the same route over and over, steady and predictable. My head tilts up again as I watch the clouds run across the sky. Predictable? Not so much. I look over at the fields of coriander dancing and bowing to the breeze and there seems to be a rhythm to their dance. Predictable? Perhaps. The wild flowers grow in clusters, here where the soil is soft and rich and over there in the rocks and sand. Predictable? Not even close.
Perhaps unpredictability has a place, but does that mean I am off the hook? Can I continue to live my scribble- out- of-the- lines life and throw predictable caution to the wind?
I set my gaze once again on my Father. Don’t both the stream and the wild flower bring him glory? But I am neither a stream nor a wild flower.
My heart feels the gentle embrace of caution as he leads me to a still place in the water. I look down and see my reflection in the water - Imago Dei. I have been created in His image, God the creator and God the strong tower. I am neither fluid nor rigid, I have been created to be strength in motion. God brings balance to my imbalance, as I bend towards generosity he shows me the wisdom that comes with stewardship. When I run to seize each moment, he reminds me that there is a time to wait and be still before Him. I am often quick with my child-like faith to jump in and figure it out as I go, God slips in front of my leap to remind me there is a time to pray before leaping. When he finds me at the banquet, that he has provided, he gently pulls me aside reminding me that I am also called to fast. It is not that he wants me to miss out on anything, quite the contrary, he wants me to enjoy the full spectrum of his gifts. As I bend and tilt he gently realigns.
He takes my left-handedness and joins it with his right hand. He is holy and in his love he molds me to become whole.
I am the dancing coriander alongside the steady stream. He is my nourishment and the one who creates the melody that I dance to.
Ephesians 3:14 The Message (MSG)
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.