Tuesday, 27 October 2009
My Ode to Autumn: Flourishing Trees.
This last week I have been reading and pondering on a passage from Proverbs 11 about having a God shaped life.
This has got me thinking and praying and asking the Lord, what shape am I and how can I continue to grow in this shape?
Not tall or thin or fat or small, but what is my part in the Kingdom of God?
My identity, my "Luciness", the skills, qualities, gifting, talents, my Friends and family and life experiences that shape me into the person that I am today?
You might have come across the book: the mission shaped church, but us being mission shaped as individuals? How can we hear His heartbeat more and to know what He is asking of us?The verse from the Message says this:"having a God shaped life is like a flourishing tree." So, does this mean that I, Luci must always be flourishing, bursting with flowers and rich in leaves, constantly, continually, all year round?
Some trees are all gnarled and twisted, whilst others have their branches upturned to heaven, almost in worship. On windy days they sway with the wind. They change dramatically as they grow and go through seasons. Adaptable, resilient, aware of times of rest and bringing forth life and going through seasons of change.
Each one unique and each one has it's place and is rooted firmly and deeply.
I can wrestle with being a people pleaser, struggling with proving myself when people ask:"What is Luci doing?" This was particularly true, when I was in full time ministry with YWAM for a number of years, sometimes feeling the pressure to be driven to do, rather than simply to be.
We were often reminded that God loves and cares more about us as individuals for who we are and not for what we do and yet I felt this tension of doing rather than being. As God created the seasons, so we have times of going through the seasons too. Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer.
This last year I have been in Autumn and Winter, after the Lord whispered to me the word: change. I started with letting go of some ministry I had been doing, sensing that it was right to pass the baton on.
Perhaps a bit like Autumn...leaves....falling.
Then came Winter, where I almost literally hibernated.
This was the season I was not expecting! I got 2 bugs back to back in January, sleeping for days and nights at a time. When I awoke, I exhausted. I was diagnosed with post viral fatigue and it has been a gradual process of gaining strength and pacing life throughout this year, learning all the time and resting lots.
I have constantly known that the Lord is in this for me, and that during this time, He is preparing me for what is next.
Just like with a tree.
I can almost hardly wait to see what springs up, next!
If you are in Autumn and needing to let go of some things, do it and enjoy Winter and His special time of rest for you.
As Psalm 1 says, blessed is the one who is like a tree planted by water.
Enjoy discovering you own shape, to live a God shaped life.
Maybe I have always wanted to be a tree, after all....
as long as it is God-shaped and funky!