Friday, March 22, 2013

The Feeling of Learning

May I tell you about one of my favorite feelings in the world? It's learning. I know that it makes me sound like a total nerd for putting this out there. It's ok, I own that persona... no need to call me out on it. But seriously, I love the feeling that comes with learning something new. We get little mists of this feeling when we learn new trivia or read a short article on twitter. A little surge of excitement...retweet, text a friend..."hey random stranger, did you know??"....

But what I am talking about is the feeling you get when you have been submerged in a concept or process emerge on the other side of a learning journey with something new...perhaps even as someone new.

I am sure I'm not alone in that not every concept automatically 'clicks.' Before the clicking....the struggle that leads to the lightbulb...that is the learning journey. A lot of people give up before they get to the aha moment. This can be in school, in relationships, even spiritually. Totally honest, I have wanted to give up before that moment a lot when it comes to mastering a concept. But that lightbulb moment, it keeps me going. It is the little reward at the end of the road. It is the taste of personal satisfaction.

I enter into this experience a lot and the sequence is always the same. (Perhaps you can identify)
1. Great enthusiasm for the new thing I am learning
2. Waning confidence that I can do or learn said thing
3. Great frustration in pursuit of just which way is up
4. Feeling of floating in a sea of confusion
5. An inching sense that there might be order coming
6. Bam! A moment of aha.
7. The triumphant feeling of learning!!

In my mind, the learning feeling plays out like the end of a great movie. I have overcome...there is music (Rocky) and sunshine and wind blowing my hair and cardigan (obviously) as I walk down the sidewalk. And I am smiling.

That my friends is why I learn. Learning is living.

Monday, March 18, 2013

It is quiet

I feel suspended in this. Like I am floating in the ocean. The quiet hum of an old air conditioner, the sturdy presence of aged books, oak tables and no person in sight. A smile on my lips, I am at peace alone with you.

I wouldn’t know the beauty of silence if I did not live in noise. To some people noiselessness is uncomfortable, scary even. Not to me. I know you are here in the silence. I can feel you near when it is this quiet. There has not been any sound so comforting as this hush. Because in this indulgent space, I am still and my heart is at rest. There is no noise, without or within. Still. Focused. Aware. Thankful.

Monday, January 21, 2013

He is gone

My grandpa died today. In this whole short but painful process it is like I never realized people die. Of course I see death and hate it but most of the time it is the tragic kind. The kind of death where it is okay to say "This should not have happened." But now I am looking at the end of life kind of dying. The kind where you say, "They lived a good, long life." The kind that is just supposed to be a part of life...a passing from this place. And instead of feeling at peace, I feel robbed. This can't be the plan. Surely there was going to be an exception this time.

But death comes to all of us. There is only that sure thing to life.

So why do I feel robbed? It could be deep selfishness...OR it could be the original Imago Dei in me, reaching out for what really should have been. We were not created to die. We were created to live. Death is the cold reminder of sin's dark stain upon creation. That voice within me saying it should not be so is my eternal self, groaning for things to be made right be garden-like again.

My grandpa is experiencing this full renewal today. He is basking in the restorative light of God's presence and he is whole. He is whole in ways that he once was on this earth; he is whole in ways he never was. He is free from all of the trappings of sinful flesh that we seek to nullify on this side.

Death did not win today. Christ Jesus did. That same Jesus who has set my sweet grandpa's spirit inside a new body today is the one who will strengthen me until I am in the same place.