Yesterday I gave my daughter one of her bucket list experiences. While she was off enjoying the adventure, I found myself hopeful that she comes back with unending stories of discovery, beauty, and awe. I am reasonably sure this will become a defining moment in her life but I had a defining moment of my own. In the calmness of a quiet day’s beginning, I realize I was caught off guard by the reactions of my heart and mind.
We are in a beautiful part of the world, Chiang Mai Thailand. The planning has unfolded with tension and dramas, and as a result, everyone is rested and filled with anticipation. The weather is overcast with a chance of rain, all good news from my perspective given the 95 degrees and 80% plus humidity. I know it will be cooler in the mountain. My fears and uncertainties as a parent responsible for her care are trumped by the professional attitude of everyone in the process.
As important as the day is, the surprise is the quiet peace that has wrapped itself around my heart and mind. When I read how certain festive days of hold were, “a day decreed by God, solemnly ordered by the God of Jacob,” (Psalm 81.4) for the first time I have an sense of what Jacob’s God was feeling. Purposeful actions driven by love, compassion, and a desire to give to another, create a powerful sense of hope and possibilities within the giver. One knows that s/he has expressed love. One is confident that another will experience the gift with anticipation, wonder, and “I cannot believe this is happening to me”. Just because is one way of describing the process of giving. While accurate, it hides the joy of giving, the desire to share, and the willingness to sacrifice.
Today you and I will pause and reflect. In my case, I know I will look at God differently. I can see the way divine grace, mercy, and compassion touching my life. The impact flows inside outwards, permeating everything that I am.