Monthly Archives: June 2011
This week I went to a wedding of a friend I have known for about 7 years. We became friends, enjoyed some adventures, were part of a Bible Study, and have worshipped together at church on and off. He is the type of friend I appreciate as I know that the most important part of his life is his walk with God and that it is changing and growing. No matter how little or often our paths have crossed, faith is core to our friendship. As with most weddings there were other people I continue to cross paths with who are not as close but we make conversation and it’s enjoyable to spend time with them.
The standard question to ask seems to be, “What’s new?” It can be a difficult question. On the outside my life is nearly the same as it was 10 years ago – the same apartment, the same life status (single not in a relationship and without kids), and nearly the same job. I’ve travelled, mentored more kids, my nieces and nephews are older, I’ve taken classes, learned new things, been on adventures, taken up new sports, developed new friendships, deepened others, been in and ended close relationships, feel closer to God and further along in my journey. Lots has changed in my life, yet from an outsiders view, and sometimes in my own mirror I wonder if I have really changed other than the rise in gray hairs that I am seeing. I know that I am not the same person I was 10 years ago. Many of the goals and dreams I had ten years ago have not been realized (marriage, kids, house, new job) yet It seems that God continues to change and grow me and is preparing me. What that preparation is for I’m not sure but I continue to sense a stirring.
What struck me today is that Jesus must have gotten this question as well. As a man in his late teens and all through his 20’s the question “What’s new?” must have been asked over and over again. When was he going to find a nice girl, get married, start a family? It may have looked to outsiders he was stuck, oddly single, and possibly even that his career aspirations, if any, were small. Yet if they had listened to what was new about his relationship with his Father I believe they would have heard something else. What I appreciate about my now married friend is the type of friendship we have. A friendship in which the question of “What’s new?” is really about what God is doing in each other’s lives, whether it be seen in external or internal changes.
I don’t want to miss asking the question of “What’s new?” both from an external and internal perspective. I also don’t want to dismiss that the changes in my life, though not many are external, are significant and real.
What’s new with you?
During the Month of May I started working on a home project. There is a landing down my back stairs where there is room for 2 chairs and a little table. Gini, my downstairs neighbor, has had visions of flowers and a place to sit off her second story apartment. I didn’t have visions of anything but mosquitoes.
Cleaning – Scrubbing – and getting a sweet blister I embraced the project of cleaning one Sunday afternoon. I literally washed the green off the siding and wooden deck. We have a mold, green, roof issue here at the house I live in, yet its home. After a couple of weeks I finally found just the right window boxes (no drilling needed), picked out containers, dirt, and flowers conducive to shade, and set to work. Hours later and my last drill hole made (for a hanging plan) there is a space outside I have already come to love. Looking past the peeling paint, tinted green in places, there is a new look to a once dismissed space.
Sitting out the past week I have been amazed at how I had written off this space. I had not thought it could or would be anything special. I had not seen the potential or value in it, other than a second means of egress to pass fire standards. Yet I have been able to reflect, relax, and restore. I embraced what I had dismissed as ugly, unusable, and not worth the effort. The space was there all along. My struggle has been that my apartment is too small, cramped and I wish for so much more where I live, including flowers and the option of a garden. This part was outside my door all along.
Like my new newly embraced and transformed landing I don’t usually want to wade into the areas in my life that I have overlooked, are full of mold and a buildup of neglect. I don’t want to have to clean, possibly scrub, and maybe even get a blister. However there is beauty waiting. Gini my dear friend mentioned her hope and vision in passing. I don’t want to miss embracing the space that was there all along… the physical space and even in my heart.
Have you overlooked space before – made a small change and been surprised at the beauty?