I don’t know about you, but it takes me a year or so of being still to see the here and now. Prior to this I wait for the other shoe to drop…Given to my natural state I tend to react as things appear to come at me. And per usual, the reaction often looks like a duck on the water – smooth o the surface, and nothing but flailing little legs below the surface. Weeks ago, after returning from a weekend-long spiritually-led eating tour of Reno, NV [all you can eat Sushi by the hour – no joke], I found myself in field up in Big Valley days later having myself a ponder…well, the beginnings of a ponder – let’s call it an emergent ponder. This was not unlike the changing landscape I found myself standing in that beautiful day.
If you cultivated it, it would grow. If you left it to the seasons, it’d fade away – only brought back from a memory through some grand act. But over these past weeks I’ve cultivated my ponder - Placing a handful of the recent past’s still moments together so I could see a rhythm in those things before me as I tried to listen to God. This was added to by the images of the ever changing present, and became more than a rhythm, there was a kind of comfort just this side of predictable.
Have you ever known a piece of road - known it really well? Not simply, “Oh yea, I’ve driven there a bunch of times…” - Rather, the kind of knowing that comes with actually participating with the seen and unseen, both about you and along the way. The kind of knowing that leaves you wondering when something has been altered [as if your perceived ownership should have warranted a letter prior to flattening out that particular stretch of highway], and provides you the ability to see the faint scars of the past through the primer veneer of the present. The kind of knowing that can accompany well aged whiskey-dents and a fondness for corn-nuts.
It isn’t often that I spend time with Christian men older than myself, much less near my age. I do enjoy it. I find there is often a kind of calm not found in the younger – the difference between brook trout and sturgeon. They are both wonderful, but one appears to have looked down the road and gained some patience.
So what’s all the rambling about? More than anything, simply recognition that through a simple few relationships there can be such a strong sense of belonging, and appreciation of accidental discipleship. A realization that who you have become is part of a community greater than yourself, that God lives, breaths and speaks through. You turn around and find you haven’t so much made yourself a place, but rather God has offered you something beyond contentment and purpose…His Kingdom.