I’ve been thinking a lot about transformation lately. Maybe that’s because I’m yearning for it. I think the restlessness that my soul feels, is probably a healthy one. I have often found that when we are certain we have “it all figured out,” that’s only our doubt and fear showing prominently on our sleeves. Or, maybe it is our poor attempt at pretending that we have it all together. Because, someone has to be the anchor, right? Yet, the more I seek God, the more I recognize I have an awful long way to go. I understand that I won’t be arriving any time soon. I’ve never been good at waiting, or lingering in the in between. I like plans, schedules, organization, and clear expectations. The COVID reality of church has really done a number on me. I have a feeling I’m not alone in that.
I have made many feeble attempts at being more mindful. Perhaps that’s because Keith has taken us on his journey through mindfulness both as a staff and through his recent Wonderful Wednesday study group. Maybe it’s because I’ve been studying the power of being present with a group of exhausted and worn-down working moms who are surviving the pandemic and clinging to God together. Even through all the shifting, the inventing, the adjusting, and the disappointments, hitting the “pause” button on life has been incredibly freeing. I’ve seen things I haven’t seen before. Probably because they weren’t visible in the dust cloud I kicked up before through my day-to-day movement.
Just the other day, as I was walking outside, I noticed several trees that were in process. Springtime is a great time to notice transformation because it is so blatantly visible. Yet, as I looked at these grouping of trees, I noticed that about half of their branches were sprouting green leaves. The others were still bare. All of them looked that way – completely unfinished and in the in-between. This sight stopped me dead in my tracks. Have I ever noticed these trees in this state before? The season changes usually sneak up on me. It feels like the transformation happens overnight. But these trees were unashamedly in process. The sight of them comforted my heart.
Revelation 21 came to mind:
21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home[a] of God is among mortals.
He will dwell[b] with them;
they will be his peoples,[c]
and God himself will be with them;[d]
4 he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.”
5 And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
The one seated on the throne is “making all things new.” The grammar implies motion and lives in the process and not the product. God is moving, is making, is creating, is transforming. Even though I am quick to demand a final product – I want to be transformed, today.. – I am reminded that creating takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. Today, I find myself grateful for the process. I may even be thankful for it, too.