This morning I woke up early and one simple word was placed in my mind. A funny little word, yet deep in meaning that would take on the day. Ponder. A transitive and intransitive verb that means to consider carefully, to think about something carefully over a period of time. I have pondered the things that sing, the things that crawl, and the things that swim in my lake. I have pondered the things that soar above and that funny little thing that is drilling the tree violently next to me. I have pondered their glory and the gifts they are to me. These are treasures, in all sizes, in all shapes, in all colors, in all melodies.
God makes all things beautiful. Gods gives each one of us unique characteristics that make us shine for Him. Sometimes we take the stage, and sometimes we hover in the background, listening and observing. Today I watched that stage play out in front of me for a half an hour before the sun came to shine. This is my story of pondering the great things of God…
I was thrilled to get up and greet the morning. I had the best commute ever, down my aged stone steps, grey and misshapen after years of wear, weather and constant stomping of feet. When young they were firm underfoot, but now they are sloped forward, seeking the water’s edge. I grasp the handrail to steady myself, and keep me upright on this crisp morning.
The sky is overcast with the sweeping mists of smoke from the Canadian fires. I know the sunrise will be hidden behind it and its grandeur will be veiled. The pinks are muted to mauve, and my Kingdom is different today. Two tiny pink leaves from an apple blossom floated past, kissing the top of the water, parallel and seeking each other’s company, yet constantly divided by the gentle ripples in the water. So I pondered relationships. How often do we see something so beautiful and so like us, struggling to meet, yet unsuccessful because of the tide?
The world tells us one thing, and God tells us another. Our minds battle our hearts. Our bodies battle our spirits. We justify our actions and plead grace when we fall. How long can we do that before we succumb to the world and its mighty arguments? How long can we walk on the balance beam of life before the flames overtake what is left of our souls?
The fires rage in Canada and my little lake is feeling the misery. The balance of life is disturbed and the normal songs and dances are not occurring in order or at all today. The water bug skitters on the lake top and disappears from sight. The fish take turns jumping out of the water and splashing the surface. I turn northeast, then southwest, then directly west as I watch the fish take turns trying to take the lead role in this play. Some seek a glance; others want to star in this leap called life. As I watch this minuet, I replay Faith’s “Ode to Joy” from times past. A time past, when Faith was young, sassy and five years old making her quarter size violin scream with excitement. Faith is now vaulting into adulthood with an exquisite fierceness. Faith is my firstborn, my experimental daughter, whom I learned to be a mom with, and whom I tested the waters of authority.
The birds are not in tune and the chorus is jumbled. The usual suspects are not in their usual places. I am disturbed yet pondering the when’s and why’s of this scene. As one fish smacks the surface it creates a series of bubbles. I watch as they pop and scatter. The biggest bubble blasts towards me with great urgency as if to be noticed before it disappears. It pushes under the dock and I say goodbye, yet it emerges a minute later as if to laugh an “I told you so at me.” Sometimes we are determined to forge our way through life, laughing all the way. But I find it better to laugh with someone than to laugh at them. I find it better to hold the hand of Jesus than to ignore His gentle call.
So my mind floats back to the apple blossoms floating on my lake. I am not able to identify the tree that they escaped from, but I see a parade of them floating by me. The sun is fully raised and their colors shine pinker and brighter than a few minutes ago. Where is my loon God? He missed his mark. He did not announce the day as usual.
Then I hear the Canadian geese squawking for more attention, jealous of the swans that always seem to get all the glory. The geese want to star in my show now. But I want my loon.
“Be still,” God says. “All will come in its time. Be patient. I am not through with you yet. You are a beautiful weaving, learning and living each day.”
“But God,” I say, “It’s so hard to be patient. It’s hard to trust in you all the time. I want it all now! I want the lead.”
“My child,” God replies, “I give you what you need, and what you want comes after a little discipline.”
So I thank God this morning for fulfilling all my needs, and giving me my wants after I learn and grow. I did, after all, end up in my dream house, on a lake, surrounded by nature. I did barter with Him for this place. He laughed and gave it to me, however temporary.
I lay on my stomach, wrapped in Hope’s blanket, and peer over the side of the dock. I stare at my messy morning curls as they frame my face, swollen with the morning’s cold. “My nose is too big,” I thought as I looked into the lake top mirror. God told me it was just right. I laughed and thought how Joy just discussed with me yesterday how the world’s view of beauty is distorted. I look at the charming frame for my reflection- the newly budded leaves of the willow that braces the shoreline. So I laugh at my reflection, and I smile at the frame God created for me and I surrender to His day.
The loon announces the morning. God smiles down. It’s all in His timing. Today is a worldly event, a prom of dramatic proportions. I will go and tell my Compassion the same words God spoke to me this morning. I will tell her how magnificent she is; I will let her know her inside beauty rivals her outside glory. But I will probably get the response. “You have to say that, you’re my mother!”
“Yes, I am your mother. I am blessed, Compassion. You are my treasure.” I know that one day Compassion will ponder her surroundings. I know that one day she will dance fully and totally for the Lord. I will pray for her and Faith, Hope and Joy as they maneuver through the maze of the world and I will pray they will ponder in their hearts the things of God. I am their mother, after all, and I have to do these things!
Today is the day the Lord has made! Will you breathe the world in or will you ponder the things of God? Will you dance with Him or will you tango your way into the world?