Today began as one of those mornings, where the traffic I found myself in as I took my daughter to school, had me locked into a slower pace than I would have chosen for myself. It was so slow and then slower still—and as I couldn’t find a way out of it—I settled back, and determined not to bump the car in front of me, watched the many drivers talking on their cell-phones, applying makeup and seemingly picking what was left of their sausage biscuit out of their teeth.
Like water finding its’ own level, the motion of the morning rush to school, to work and to parts unknown was measured not so much to annoy me as it was to create a safe zone for each car that took its place in this medley of daily activity.
It is sort of like “The Long Ride” with some significant departures off the beaten path along the way. Not that I intended for any of this to take place—but I guess that is what makes life here on earth interesting and more complex than we could have ever thought or imagined.
And that is mostly the good part.
The past few weeks have been filled with much introspection and discovery about myself and those around me.
I could postulate that this part of the journey began with me reading a book that had been given to my wife by a friend of ours. The conversation went something like this: “I just read a book and I liked it so much I have ordered one for you,” my wife’s friend said. And sure enough, the very next day there was a package on our front porch from Amazon with a hardcover copy of “The Shack” in it. It is always fun to get a gift and even more fun to open a new highly recommended book. And two people reading the same book is a sure test to any relationship—but hey, that is why bookmarks were created in the first place.
The Shack, like any good book, takes you on a ride that you never imagined you would be taking. It is the story of a father’s pain, his traveling a traumatic path for much too long and his headlong encounter with the trinity of God the Father, the Son and of course the Holy Spirit. In the process he finds a freedom that can only be described as supernatural in total essence. It is a story that can send shivers up your back and bring tears to your eyes all in the space of one or two pages or paragraphs. At the end of it all, I felt as though I had been lifted to a new height and that some cobwebs had been removed from my mind and my life.
I don’t think my journey has been changed as much as my perspective about the very same journey has been transfigured somehow. Life is still lived out one footfall in front of another, but what I have the potential to do with each moment is now a bit clearer and not completely hidden behind lots of dark clouds.
Reading The Shack set the stage for what was to happen next—a weekly trip to a church about an hour from Boone where I was invited to play percussion, etc. with a praise team as a part of what is being called “The Kingdom Chronicles.” My farmer friend Alan Smith is directing the Saturday evening get-together’s. I say directing because it is much more than him just leading the meetings, he is much like a conductor in his approach to seeing a group of people come together and get something out of it. In addition to being a dairy farmer, Alan also oversees Stoney Point Christian Publications. Most of the stuff that has been happening in Taylorsville is available online including the music and teaching notes.
Suffice it to say, interacting with these musicians and being given total freedom to create a musical space has been invigorating and very freeing. It has somehow scratched the itch I was feeling creatively and at the same time released me from feeling as though I have to play in order to be accepted—if that makes any sense. In other words, when you get to do what you are created to do, then what you do becomes an offering instead of a point of validation—although you receive ample acceptance in the giving itself.
In the midst of all of this happening in my life, my brother, whom I had not talked with in about five years, called me out of the blue to chat and update me on his where-a-bouts.
Then my uncle from Michigan, my dad’s youngest brother, called and said he would be in town and would I like for him to stop by. It had been many, many years since I had seen him as well and his visit was to play a big role in the healing process I am experiencing in my everyday life.
There is much more to say about all of this but I think I have come to the end of what I can explain in a day. Miracles of all kinds are all around us, we just have to have eyes to see them for them to become a reality in our time and space.
Enjoy your ride today.