Some things take longer to learn than others. This is one of those things for me. But at least the learning is in progress, right?
I have a calendar titled “To Be Remembered” for those days, moments, experiences, & conversations that mark me. Those that have forever shaped my life & little perspective on this big world.
March 4th is one of the days marked on that calendar. It was 2010. I was on my first trip to Nashville for a gathering of the Visual Worship Tribe. Quite honestly it feels like a lifetime ago though I can still remember it vividly - the people, the place that would become my church home, and one conversation in particular.
That day (my now friend) Paul spoke words that I will never forget, ones that forever changed the course of my journey.
“You don’t have joy for the ministry that you’re doing right now,” he said. Something like that isn’t easy to hear. It’s even harder to hear coming from a stranger. But I didn’t hear Paul in that moment, I heard God shouting at me. (I’d been trying to ignore him for quite some time.) And I’m forever grateful to Paul for obediently saying what his heart told him to say in that moment even if it was uncomfortable.
Moral of the story? Never underestimate the power of what you say. When your gut tells you to say something, say it! If someone is heavy on your heart, reach out to them. Your words may mark a day someone will never forget.
Work hard. Play harder. Love hardest.
If this city I call home has taught me anything, that is it.
I still remember the teddy bear lamp that served as my night light when for far longer than it probably should have as a child. I was deeply afraid of the dark & refused to sleep without it.
As I got older my mom would often tell me that I needed to learn to sleep in the dark so I would get better rest. Something about the light keeping my brainwaves functioning more even while I was sleeping. As an adult I think she may have been on to something – I get better rest in the dark than in the light.
Many of us, even as we grow up, are afraid of the dark. Not the physical darkness of the night but the darkness of our world, our hearts & souls. We want to stay in the light where it’s safe & comfortable with very little mystery.
But what was true for my physical rest as a child is true for my soul’s rest as an adult. The darkness, though uncomfortable & at times even painful, is a place of necessary rest. Because in the darkness I am forced to admit that I don’t have the answers, that I’m not strong enough to find my way out on my own.
That point of surrender creates a stillness that only comes in the dark. The key is learning not to fight it trusting that from that place will come a brighter, otherwise unavailable, light.
The next time you find yourself in what feels like a starless night, welcome it as a necessary rest for your soul. Give your heart the gift of resting in it a moment holding onto the hope that it too will end.
This post was inspired by the Luminous Project. Luminous is a creative spiritual event in Nashville May 1-3, 2013. To find out more, check out luminousproject.com. You can use the promo code ‘BRINGitHERE’ to get 35% off the registration price.
I am a lover of coffee, creating, & people. An idealist on a journey to love and embrace tension. Champion of dreamers. Friend to artists. Encourager of creatives. My company, Dirty Work, offers creative management for creative minds helping artists, writers, entrepreneurs, & experience designers bridge the gap between ideation & implementation. Welcome to a conversation about living courageously, loving wholeheartedly, & savoring life.
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- Learning in Progress March 14, 2013
- The Power of Your Words March 4, 2013
- Work Hard. Play Harder. Love Hardest. February 18, 2013
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