Yesterday was a glorious day. I woke up with a head cold, but didn’t care. There wasn’t all that much I had to do, and I had a great book to read, a couple of thoughtful talks to listen to, and plans to get together with a friend. God felt close, and life felt good, even as I choked down Mucinex tablets (why are they so BIG?) and guzzled water. I was GRATEFUL for those giant chalky tablets and for sunshine, heat, and a day where I could just take in the wisdom of others.
This morning, I stepped in dog poop before I’d even poured my coffee. I’m done with the great book I was reading and don’t have a new one yet. My head cold is a bit stuffier, and as I read one of my favorite chapters in the Bible (a trick I use when I’m not feeling very focused) I could not for the life of me figure out what the Apostle John was trying to say in that first letter. (Something about love?) It’s a different sort of day.
And yet I found myself, in that detached state that sometimes comes with a head cold, looking at these two days and realizing: different isn’t bad. It’s just different.
I’ll admit, I sometimes envy friends whose lives follow a more predictable pattern in terms of their work schedule or how their weeks stack up. It really is a free-for-all around here right now, with no two days alike. I heard Sarah Barilles’ song, Uncharted, yesterday and thought, “Yes, that…exactly.” (except now that I listen to that song again I realize she’s expressing more of an “Oh crap” vibe, we’re I’m in more of a, “Hmmm…this is interesting” place.)
It’s all uncharted. And yet that’s the excitement of this season, this uncertainty what each day will bring. I spent quite a bit of time last year mulling over the oddness of how the publishing industry and our church kind of fell apart at the same time (they’re both still there, but in a form that is pretty much unrecognizable from when I was part of them). And I saw God’s grace in this. It’s DIFFICULT when things we love change. And yet how else will God move us forward? I don’t leave something until it gets uncomfortable enough for me to say, “Wow, I don’t fit in here anymore, at all, no matter how hard I try or how uncomfortable I’m willing to be.” I’m a slow learner with this, but I can see over time how God ratchets up the discomfort to get me to MOVE, to create space for new things. And there is always a new thing. God doesn’t just leave us with a big blank space. And the things He comes up with, the people and circumstances and opportunities, are amazing. Surprising and challenging and wonderful in ways we wouldn’t have thought to ask for.
If we dare to entertain it, there’s a fun hopefulness in the waiting, wondering, not knowing. Anticipation can be the antidote to all manner of negative thoughts if we’re brave enough to let God turn our heads in a new direction, to sculpt hints of something new into our imagination.
I trust that some of that is happening today as I churn through Kleenex and tend my stuffy nose :)