This morning I saw the moon set. It startled me even more awake than I already wasn't - giant, pearly and glowing against a soft blue sky. I took a horrible picture with my horrible phone2 from my
My bad, this is not from the kitchen window. This is taken from the window above the piano keyboard.
I'm reading Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words and as a result am becoming even more acutely aware that I majored in biology and not journalism. Boy do editors have a lot to remember. I enjoy writing and words as a means to an end, which is the expression of ideas. I'm not so terribly concerned about grammar and spelling as long as the person I'm communicating with (a lot of the time the person is only me) can readily understand the idea/meaning/concept. I've gotten much sloppier in my old age and as the amount of reading I'm doing has decreased. Also, my ideas are less clear and more muddy in my brain. This may be due to children stealing my brain cells or lack of practice or both.
Sometimes I feel like the avocado seeds I'm trying to grow. For almost four weeks they've sat in cups of water on my window sill, each one suspended by three toothpicks. I top off the water and wait expectantly. "Any day now!" I think optimistically as I inspect the almost-completely-unchanged seed. It looks a little grungier - sort of bruised and cracked in spots. Certainly not capable of pushing life out of it.
But I have hope because I have seen it happen before.
Sometimes I feel like I go through periods of enormous internal growth but nothing becomes visible externally for quite a while. I know I've changed. I FEEL changed. But I don't LOOK changed to other people. I wish I could force it. I wish I could burst forth into a glorious fruit-producing tree overnight and people would oooh and aaah and come sit in my shade and want to know my secret3. I wish that just seeing where I want to be was enough to get me there. I wish that the process wouldn't take so long or require so much, sometimes. I wish to jump ahead and enjoy the fruits without very much labor.
I wish I had a more mature perspective.
Proverbs has a verse about this: "There is profit in all hard work, but endless talk leads only to poverty."
Right. Thanks, Proverbs. I think I'd rather listen to Leviticus on this one: "You must not do any work at all! This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation wherever you live." (Isn't that the most lovely Bible verse you've ever seen? [Talk about picking and choosing parts of the Bible to fit personal tastes!])
Then there's the verse I love to hate in Galatians: "So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up."
I have actually quoted this verse to a Christian counselor along with the somewhat martyr-like, self-centered exclamation, "I am SO tired of doing good. I'm just DONE! How much longer do I have to do good? Can I stop yet? I mean seriously. Where's my harvest of blessing?!" I can't remember the reply I got that day but today I remind myself that inner change is change and it is a blessing. Harvests don't have to be external to count. I have a MUCH better relationship with myself today than I did five months ago. Eventually, at just the right time, others will experience a much better relationship with me, too. I really hope it's sooner than later but for now I'm content to work on what I know I need to do and trust that the process will lead to healing and whole relationships outside of me as well.
I have hope because I have seen it happen before.
1I just spelled that correctly the first time for what I believe may be the first time in my entire life.
2But don't you fear! I'll be getting an iPhone 5 tomorrow!
3The secret is... there isn't one!