A couple of months ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find an e-mail from someone who had written a beautiful blog post about her experience of the holiday season. She had remembered a conversation we had years ago about how much I value brokenness in a person. I ruminated a bit and wrote this in response:
… I suppose my own philosophy of life has morphed a bit through the process. Before, I viewed life as a steady march toward death and eventual, glorious restoration by Christ. Very dramatic and emo. Now I view life as a steady march from death to life, a gradual redemption – but only if we choose to live it. Much less drama and a lot more hard work…
I confess I’ve been completely ravished by the very attractive idea of sudden and dramatic change. I love hearing the emotionally-charged rags-to-riches story, the underdog coming from behind and shattering expectations by winning, that one heroic act of someone rescuing another from a dire situation. And I viewed my own life from a similar lens. I thought someone would surely give me wings to fly away as a child or an influential person would scoop me up from my misery and give me a music career.
Some of these dramatic stories are real and should absolutely be celebrated. We may even experience them every now and then. But the difficult reality is that most of life and most transformation is painstakingly slow. And gradual. I take a couple of steps forward then I take a step back. Sometimes two or three.
I wonder about how we expect God to show up with glorious, dramatic fanfare on a huge cumulus cloud, with trumpets blaring and thunder crashing. Or just that he would show up and answer our very fervent prayer in a split second, rescue us from our debt, sickness, overall despondency in one grandiose, cinematic, and redemptive act. And sometimes, he does. But the truth is most of the time, he comes without us ever noticing – small, quiet, slow, and humble. He entered the earth that way. Such things to ponder in the middle of this snow-laden season.
I confess oftentimes I fool myself into thinking that the slow and steady is not the way life works and I use my self-inflicted paralysis as an excuse to just not. do. anything. As we slowly enter a new season, I hope to be ever attentive to the slow and quiet, and treasure greatly the small and humble.