Friday, February 11, 2011

Staying Open I used to be pretty stuck in my ways – territorial, rigid in my plans, and definitely not spontaneous. But then I had children and well, I had to put those ways behind me. It wasn’t an easy process and I’m still learning everyday how to stay open – how to consider all possibilities – how to love first instead of selfishly considering my own agenda. Several years ago, Jerry and I took a class at our church – a survey of the whole Bible over 2 years. In one of the first few lessons, I learned something that I had never thought of before. If love is what God wants us to do then sin is its polar opposite – sin is love turned in on itself. I’m sure like many of you, I had learned that sin was a bad thing that we had to avoid, but when put in this context sin is defined more clearly as any action where I act selfishly. Wow, right? Whenever I refuse to be open to something new and different, I consider my own ways over someone else. Not the best idea if I am learning to love perfectly as Jesus wants me to do. So I’m learning to be open – open to reading a book, playing with trains, an unexpected phone call, a message asking me to pause and pray, to listen, to talk, to take an unexpected trip. I’m not just learning the good things – but the hard things too – illness, pain, loss, death. He is teaching me to love first and consider myself second. Below is a song that I love that captures this idea – staying open – Like a Lake by Sara Groves. so much hurt and preservation like a tendril round my soul so much painful information no clear way on how to hold it when everything in me is tightening curling in around this ache I will lay my heart wide open like the surface of a lake wide open like a lake standing at this waters edge looking in at God's own heart I've no idea where to begin to swallow up the way things are everything in me is drawing in closing in around this pain I will lay my heart wide open like the surface of a lake wide open like a lake bring the wind and bring the thunder bring the rain till I am tried when it's over bring me stillness let my face reflect the sky and all the grace and all the wonder of a peace that I can't fake wide open like a lake everything in me is tightening curling in around this ache I am fighting to stay open I am fighting to stay open open open oh wide open open like a lake How are you learning to be open?


Lydia said...

I've long been of the mind that selfishness is really the root of most sins - in relationships, parenting, regular life. How we view the world around us. Its a really hard thing to shake.

Jennifer Powell said...

I couldn't agree more! I think this was a big struggle for me when we first had kids. I think of the silly things I would do like rushing to get Kayla to bed so I could watch a TV show that I liked. So wrong. I'm glad that I've gotten over these things. Still have so much work to do, though.