Monday, June 28, 2010

are we there yet?

"Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.' " - John 21:18

I've been thinking about this verse a lot since last summer when I heard it in the context of a Renovare conference session titled - Where you do not wish to go: discerning and yielding to God's guidance.  It hit home on a personal level early this year with my brother's health.  This theme of control vs. surrender was revisited in worship this past weekend.  I also met someone last week who shared her poetry with me and it inspired me to try some verse again. 

are you there yet
where you do not wish to go

did you arrive without a plan
or did your plans go awry
did you think you could avoid it
walk around it, sneak on by

is there illness in the family
did the homeless go away
are children starving anywhere
did you eat your fill today

is there justice in your city
are the bullies loud and mean
do people die for no good cause
is your drinking water clean

we are there now, don't you see it
where we do not wish to be
that's exactly where we'll stay
until we learn to be set free

where we do not wish to go
is a place we all avoid
instead we build up walls of fear
as our purpose is destroyed

can we banish pain and sorrow
with instincts of flight or fight
or should we face reality
and begin to search for light

illuminate the darkest hour
with thought and word and deed
doing justice, walking humbly
making kindness our new creed

be still, stay calm, hold fast, judge not
believe in a better way
lose pride and immerse yourself
sending out your love today

forgiveness and acceptance
turning enemy to friend
fear not, for I am with you
until the bittersweet end
 
(updated 9/29/10 for submission to First Amendment Writes poetry contest)

1 comment:

Michelle said...

You are an amazing writer and an insightful individual.


Some thoughts on your comments:
I am there where I did not plan to go;my plans went awry; I did think I could avoid it, walk around it, sneak on by;

There is illness in the family; homeless on the street; there are children starving in Africa not getting enough to eat;

There is some justice in my hometown and some bullies who are loud; there are people dying for no good reason but so far my drinking water is clean;

I do see that we are there now perhaps where we don't wish to be;
We do build up walls of fear but I don't think our purpose is destroyed; we are strong while we are building; we are scared- that is true, but sometimes that feeling is a motivator too; we may not be able to banish pain completely but we can learn to truly live- with God in our life providing us with the light to get us through our darkest days;

"...my precious, precious child
I love you and would never leave you. In your times of trial and pain, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."
Footprints author, unknown