Sunday, May 08, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Tea

To everything there is a season, 
A time for every purpose under Heaven.
Ecclesiastics 3:1

An interview with a Christian politician sparked my ponderings this week.  He and his wife were considering a return to political life because... as he said, "I feel I can still make a difference".  For some reason (and who knows what makes my brain work the way it does... shiver), memories flooded back to that time in my late teens when I was part of a Christian coffeehouse ministry.

I think it may have been the comment the graduate student who headed up the ministry said to my mother, "Brenda runs in where angels fear to tread".  In some ways, that was true of my generation... especially those of us who were part of the Jesus Movement.

So many of were wooed by the One Who Created Us, who came out of families who did not attend church, we who were  radically saved... a completely different person after saying yes to the Cross.  Our heroes were as diverse as Francis Schaeffer sharing with skeptics in the mountains of Switzerland to David Wilkerson facing street gangs in the streets of New York.

My thoughts went to the difference between then and today and the years in between.  For looking back, I have come to realize the seasons of life and how they change.  There were many years of running in where angels feared to tread, of ministry as well as community involvement, corporate politics and national politics and those important issues which made my heart sing.

There have been seasons of life when there was too much to do and too little time (or so it seemed).  There were seasons of constantly being surrounded by people and those of living in places where I knew no one and extended  family was far away.  There were seasons of plenty and seasons of lack... but most were in between.

All different seasons in life... but all a part of the journey He had planned all along.  Some of which I embraced and others I'd rather give back... but each season of life filled with mercy and grace... and each necessary to walk through before the next bend in the road.

A famous Christian leader once talked about how each major change in his life was met with great difficulty.  He said it reminded him of Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier in the movie, The Right Stuff... the plane was shaking and it appeared all was about to break apart and then... all was calm. 

Sigh... I no longer run in where angels fear to tread physically but the current season doesn't require that kind of physical and emotional strength... the battles are fought in prayer as opposed to in person.  This is a season of staying home and doing what I can with what I have. 

Most of the time I get more sleep than I did with small children at home (except this past two weeks as I get up early to wake up the finals student).   The house is far easier to keep clean than the toddler years and my reading is all what I choose now that we are past homeschooling.

Seasons of life change and sometimes moving from one to another seems like the airplane is falling apart but it never does.  Not as long as our lives are based on the Rock and not built in shifting sand.  There may appear to be cracks in the structure and the winds are about to blow the windows in and the instrument panel is going a little crazy and just when we think we cannot take the changes any more... He brings the Calm.

Each season of life has its' good and not so great but if He is in charge, each is leading us to hearing those longed for words, "Well done good and faithful servant".  He isn't asking for perfection, he only asks us to remain faithful in each season.

Each season has the grace for only that time and looking back... reliving events and decisions made and what people said and dumb things we did and mean things others did and the woulda's and shoulda's and coulda's... will only cause us to not have the mercy and grace and joy in today's season of living. 

Yesterday is past and there is nothing we can do to change it.  Tomorrow's manna of grace has yet to be provided.  Today, right now, this moment in time... that place we have in our present journey... we can walk through today with strength... He has promised only that.


Catherine said...

Thank you. Your post is a blessing. I needed that reminder about the past being past.


Ah, the Jesus People Movement . . . such passion.

Happy Mother's Day.


Mrs.Rabe said...

Amen, Brenda, and beautifully spoken!
We all are given the Grace we need for where we are right now!

Happy Mother's Day!


Vee said...

Sweet words...that tenth paragraph is just what I needed today. Happy Mother's Day, Brenda.

matty said...

So true!

Happy Mother's Day, Brenda!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Brenda...good reminders!! Looking ahead is indeed helpful and trying to not focus much on what is behind us!!

Blessings, Elizabeth in NC

Angela said...

I often have to go back to that Bible passage when little things are troubling me, because it helps me to become more "big picture".

Anonymous said...

Thank you for these words of wisdom to start my day.

As I read I thought of the creatures who shed their skin every so often or even the caterpillar/larva who morphs into some flying creature. It must be an experience similar to labor pains at the time. They come out with their inner selves intact but with new ways of relating to the world.

I miss those Jesus People days.

carla said...

Very good post. And I agree with Debbie V.'s comment - I miss the Jesus People days, also. The passion and dedication and openness was so refreshing.