Nothing humbles one as much as children. Or the disequilibrium of a move or transition. These moments of humility—born through embarrassment or not knowing the “norms”—can find me floundering. The walls I erect to protect myself from embarrassment or loss of power get pretty tall, big and strong. Amazingly, through a child’s temper tantrum in a public place or not knowing accepted “rules” in a new spot (no state tax! no need to pump my own gas?!?) can prove a worthy challenge.
How then do we see our lives’ journey as one of co-creation with our maker? An intricate back-and-forth process born through humility and simplest matter—dust? How can God desire to co-create through ME….when my consuming thoughts are about getting me three year old in the pool without a fit or planning meals for the week or keeping up with homework, packing lunches and reading practice?
As the world around me is ablaze with the colors of autumn, I dig deeper for transition, change and vibrancy. After a move and working on routine, calm & community for the family and the children, it almost seems like the winds of autumn are a call to similar movement in my own life.
I find myself looking around for “hand holds” to reach out for and am met with more questions or uncertainty. Like many students I worked with over the years, I too want to be told the expectations, rules and parameters so I can dive in and make decisions. Often, though, things are only stable and clear for a brief moment before change blows in and circumstances shift. The colors change. The leaves fall. The fog rolls in. We feel our earthy “dustness” wondering what can be created, made or formed from humility and earth.
Vibrancy, vision, courage and bravery feel far away. Creativity is elusive. How does God meet us in these places? As I work with a passage in 2 Timothy for the curriculum I am writing, I have pondered these questions over and over.
I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us. ~2 Timothy 1:6-7, 13-14
We are called to bravery. Courage. Living without fear. Love. And yet, Paul also reminds Timothy to rekindle the gift of God that is within. To rekindle. Who knows if Timothy was having a rough time. Maybe he, like the early church, was fumbling around through transition and fear of the changes ahead. Was it easier to be immobile rather than create and form something out of the dust?? Or to bring something that was dying back to life?
Paul is quick to remind that co-creating, bravery and courage and not mustered up on our own accord. Rather, God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is calling us to look at something different. To seek, push and live into a new thing. I wonder if it is often like my playdough attempts with the boys, or my LEGO creations. I never really know quite what I’m going for. And despite being asked over and over by the kids, “WHAT ARE YOU MAKING!?!?”, I am never sure during the process. Could the art we were made to live be something wholly in-explainable, impossible to measure or quantify?
Instead of pushing for new life to come about through my efforts, my plan and my vision, God is starting to paint the picture for me. I see that it takes God’s light shining on the dust, through the creation, to vision what could be or what is. And sometimes that takes some rekindling, the “laying on of hands” from our community, friends and cheerleaders, bolstering us to stay in the process and keep our eyes open to see the art that is taking shape before our very eyes.