In the weeks before closing on the sale of our house we packed truck-loads full of everything deemed unnecessary and hauled them off to the basements of two close friends. We didn’t know where we would be living or for how long, so the climbing wall went and the wood working tools, along with bin after bin of off-sized boys’ clothing.
Maybe it was optimism that led me to send along a bag stuffed to overflowing with every hat, mitten and scarf we own. Maybe it was denial. I was sure we’d be settled and our possessions re-gathered before snow started to fly.
But this week, the temperatures turned. Flurries floated by, hurried bits of white, rushed along by the wind, eliciting gasps of excitment from children far and wide.
The long-waning fall let go its dwindling grip on the world and I waited with growing dread for the morning my son would ask for gloves before heading out the door to school.
I drove through the early darkness one evening, heading out of town to my friend’s house. Rooting through their basement I dug out the sought-after bag along with a pair of shoes, a binder and a sermon I’d been hunting.
It feels, to me, like another letting go, another surrender.
Yes, we’ll be here for winter.
Yes, we’re going to have to figure out a place to hang six coats or more.
Yes, we’ll need to vacate a corner for a Christmas tree, here in this place where we never planned to be.
Reading a children’s bible with my son one morning, a short sentence giving instructions to Abraham and Sarah shimmered before me the way a poem does, giving words to felt experience,
“But now you must leave your house and live in a tent, ready to move on whenever I tell you to."
I’m not blind to the hubris of comparing ourselves to Abraham and Sarah, but isn’t this in a sense, what scripture asks us to do; to enter into our own adventure, our own “wild dancing” with our untamed God, taking solace and courage in these ancients who are at once both our guides and companions?
Reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s chapter on the Practice of Getting Lost in An Altar in the World, her words stand as a strange and much needed affirmation, an invitation to embrace, yet again, the gifts of being lost and in-between,
I have decided to stop fighting the prospect of getting lost and engage it as a spiritual practice instead . . . God does some of God’s best work with people who are truly, seriously lost. Take Abraham and Sarah, for instance, the first parents of the Hebrew people. The bible gives no reason for God’s choice of Abraham and Sarah except their willingness to get lost. By saying yes – by consenting to get lost – they selected a family gene that would become dominant in years to come.
Abraham said "yes" to God.
'Yes,' we're saying, 'yes.'
Yes to wandering and waiting,
yes to journey over destination,
and yes to every moment in-between.
This post is linked with Playdates with God.