Tuesday, November 11, 2008

abode: infinite possibilities part 1.

(if you are willing to put in a little more time, this clip is an excellent appetizer. if you are able, see it with your new eyes, and hear it with your new ears.)

it started just after i quit being a GM and became a "just a driver." the store i transferred to, being run by one of my best friends, was in the suburb to the farthest eastern most point of the meto area. as such, in getting there from where i live, the point i get on the freeway means i have to cross 3 lanes of traffic in about one mile to reach the left exit to the next freeway which then brings me out to work. a mile is no problem except for the fact that when you're traveling at 65-70MPH it gives you less than a minute to do so. i HATE freeway driving. it is so fast paced and aggressive it completely goes against my inner nature. let's just say i'm not a fan.

now i know that the whole "parking spot" view of god is highly mocked. but when this became my morning routine, i noticed something interesting happening. every day when i got on the freeway, there was an opening at the exact moment i entered that enabled me to cross all lanes of traffic smoothly at the exact speed i was traveling. cool enough. but this has happened 99% of the days that i have worked at this store. for 3 years. you might still think this is some random interesting coincidence, but the more i think about it, the more it has baked my brain.

i mean, EVERY DAY. i realized that for this moment to occur every day, that all the things that happen to me that morning, sometimes even the night before, affect what time i reach that opening every morning. but there it is. at just the right time. every day.

over time the vision and understanding grew bigger and deeper. the guy who cut me off and drove slow in front of me on the ramp. stopping to mail something off for my mom that she forgot. the timing of the stoplights that i hit. EVERY CAR THAT IS ON THE FREEWAY AT THAT MOMENT AND EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED TO THEM THAT MORNING AND ON THEIR WAY TO WORK. did they argue with their spouse and leave a little late? did they take an extra 15 seconds at a stop sign to let someone else into traffic? ALL of these things, every day, coming together in this one seemingly insignificant moment. insignificant except for one thing.

i notice. every day i notice.

now... having said all of this, what does this have to do with WHAT NEXT?
it has increased my faith a hundredfold. not that god does this every day, but that he is able to contain all these myriad of free choices and weave them together to accomplish this every day. let me restate that this way...

my faith does not rest on the fact that god DOES it every day, but rather the simple fact that god is ABLE to do it. that he can coordinate such things in the moment. which, yes, brings about a brand new paradigm of viewing the world through the lens of "what's happening now." rather than feeling like you need to strive to run around and find "what next" as though you might miss it, it is a simple engaging in the moment, as you said sue, and being open to/flowing in what god has orchestrated.

OK! so all of that to now say that i believe we have been orchestrated. every person here, every voice. every circumstance that has brought us here. every conversation had, and relationship formed, and every personality type, and every talent brought to play this symphony of life in this moment. every person a beautiful instrument finely tuned for just this time in the neverending story as it keeps on rolling along.

there was a brief period of time when i would invite people over for a party and then come "here" to talk about it. to remind myself, and everyone else, that this is the balance that i saw in the earliest gatherings in the book of acts. it seemed to me that these people viewed their newfround freedom and faith as something to celebrate! so they would get together every evening and party together. "breaking bread from house to house." because that's what people did then when they got together to party back then. and the parties were so sweet that they would go out the next morning. and as they went about their daily duties, they would tell people, "hey, we're getting together tonight at a friend's house for dinner. i would LOVE it if you would come!" then those people would come and experience for themselves. and come back again. and in coming back, bring their friends. and so on and so on, it GREW.

i think that we could do this same thing now, encouraging one another across the globe. i see the strange circumstances that brought us all to this place, and i see the potentialities now available to us in the Kitchen.

check it. in my mind's eye i see the Kicthen as a "hub." a centralized place of gathering in this (blog) world for people to share needs, hugs, encouragement, songs, tears, joy, laughter, whatever... a constant affirmation that we are a different people and that it is okay. it is who we are meant to be.

a place where people can also find others with whom they really connect with, and have their own relationships and discussions on various personal pages and "rooms." a place where people can be found, invited, welcomed, and "plugged in" in a reasonably simple fashion. (however they are comfortable doing this, NO EXPECTATIONS!!!)

to be continued...


Tyler Dawn said...

Amen, you know we can only have 100 but I pray there will be more "kitchens" springing up, real ones as well as family rooms, back decks and the like.

You know, it might be nice someday to do Lazarus' deck, a place for men to hang out, have a beer, and give each other a wedgie ;)

beautiful story, btw, what a blessing to be able to do that traffic transition. I hate driving!

Susan said...

I wrote something similiar over at my own blog but I think it's worth repeating here.

The other day I wrote this as part of a longer article about child-like trust:

Trusting our heavenly Father to have our best interests at heart; trusting that he wants to give us good things; believing he is orchestrating all the circumstances of our lives. It’s the sort of trust Mary had when she said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).

As we trust God I believe the opportunities will present themselves and those people who are meant to be involved will come across our paths.

Sue said...

I wanna come hang out on the deck, if everyone's giving wedgies :)

I agree Jon, thanks for posting these lovely thoughts :) It's a beautiful thing. Have you ever read the book Slowing Down to the Speed of Life? It's not a Christian book (thank God) but it's really very good, and reading it just tunes me further into this stuff. It is so true - God just can't be found up on the stress spectrum, the striving spectrum. Which is frustrating because when we're revving up high, it would be nice to meet him there to bring us back down again, but it doesnt seem to happen. At least not for me. Or should I say, I'm sure he is up there on that spectrum too, its just that I can't find him on that spectrum. That's more like it.

I love what you say here about the freeway. I really have been experiencing in my life this more natural unfolding way of being, of relaxing into the moment, of being able to be in a place of saying Papa, what's next? which is all about what that striving to enter his rest means, I think. It's a wonderful thing :)

Happy said...

to see the world in a grain of sand...

looking forward to hearing the continuation... :) i, too, have been extremely encouraged as we've started to talk about what we see God doing here - and Rahab's is wonderful. i love the freedom and trust we see there. i hope it STAYS that way...

Nate said...

Can he do it, yes. Does he always. No. I have spun down the predestination highway before. For me, for those who allow God to lead, he will lead. Those who choose not, he does not worry about arranging things so much.

Erin said...

Oh I so hope we get to add on to The Kitchen one day! I deck would be just lovely. (I'll pass on the wedgie, though.)

I have heard that most (all?) of us agree we are here for a reason...I have felt that for a long time now...and it's been growing since we started A2A and then the kitchen.

Manuela said...

I love, love, love The never ending story! It's one of my all time favorites...GREAT CLIP, so moving and says so much

You know there are so many mysteries about the magic of "harmony" happening in life. Like, say with a band making great music that you can really feel, or the symphony as you mentioned...It just comes together in this mystical way, it's really amazing. I don't know what it's called. Is it synchronicity... There's so very many of these happening every day all around. Thanks for bringing it up. I don't know what makes it happen...a grace we can't figure out. It's a gift... and we do need to slow down to see it. The birds will sometimes all fly up at the same time and move in one big wave... and I don't think they've practiced their routine.
Music is so obvious in this magic, because we pay attention to it a bit more and it affects and moves us so much. Your weaving traffic story is really amazing...
what does it mean for us... God does make the harmonies between us, like only he can, it just happens; he puts our part in our heart, and then it is wondrous when it all flows and when we let it flow. Do you think this traffic thing happens specifically to you as a way for God to speak to you... It does sound like it

Heather said...

jON, loving the freeway analogy too. Predestination or not, I really do believe that people are brought into each others lives for a reason. The community forming is obviously a very important one, because God is speaking to different people in different ways, obviously wanting to get a point across. Keep listening, jON. I can't wait to see what part 2 brings!

Mike said...

This was a great post and a great analogy jON. Now as far as the traffic goes, He has a little lesson for me called patience and that's where the lessons manifest themselves. Be thankful you have an opening. I have to wait 15 minutes to enter a two lane highway at 3 in the morning. ;)

Erin said...

I love the Never-Ending Story, too. I think that clip is a fitting place to begin.

I wrote something based on it a long time ago...the gist of which was this:

"I see the parallel. Do you? A girl, Empress of her own existence, sinking into nothingness. The only Hope, the only Salvation, coming from the new name given to her by a human child."