A Smoother Story

It’s been a long, tiring, dragging past few weeks.

Granted, I’ve been busy, but it’s been that hazy, timeless type of summer that I remember from being a kid, where the days sort of run together and I wake up more tired than I was the night before.

I haven’t had much to say on my blog because, well…nothing’s happened.

Really. Nothing interesting has happened to me.

I went to the beach yesterday.

It was fun, of course, you know I love the beach.

But what I didn’t expect was yet another morsel of wisdom from the deep, deposited at my feet like a shiny shell gift.

I went to the beach yesterday, and found myself sitting at the water’s edge, with tiny little waves lapping around me, when a smooth, polished rock found itself lodged under my hand, the sand rushing away from it, wet sun shining on smooth glass.

And inspiration was literally deposited at my feet.

I picked up the rock, smooth wet shiny brown and red and orange, wondering what it was before it became this palm sized chunk of bronzed glass.

And then it hit me.

Not the rock, of course, but something else to say to you, something important.

Last summer, at a camp where I was a group leader, we made mosaics.

We shattered tiles and rocks and glass and mirrors, the while learning about how shattered hopes, shattered dreams, shattered lives can become something beautiful, something more than the starting point (gosh, I love metaphors).

I’ve heard stories about people who had shattered-life conversions, who were built up stronger and more beautiful than ever after their smashing-tiles stories with their cemented-picture stories.

But holding that rock in my hand, I wondered about the metaphor trapped inside.

You see, that rock wasn’t smashed or shattered, but it’s still changing, isn’t it?

With everyday worries and bustles like appointments and the flu, arguments with friends, red bank account statements, flat tires, bad grades and pop quizzes, even things that should be fun but end up exhausting you, these aren’t exactly earth-shattering.

But they do change you, they do affect you.

I wondered when my big shattering conversion would come. Would it be like Pentecost? Would it be a victory over persecution? A sort of violent wake up call, or wake up call from violence?

But nothing was happening to me.

Granted, I had a pretty rough year. But nothing exactly…earth-shattering.

It wasn’t one big climactic event.

It was an ebb and flow, a tide, a hum that pressed against me with a steady rhythm.

It was hard.

But it was polishing.

You see, reader, here is the inspiration I found yet again when I journeyed to the beach.

Some of us don’t get smashed and shattered. Some of us don’t get to be part of a big beautiful mosaic mural adorning a vaulted church dome.

Some of us get knocked and pounded by the waves day in and day out, and then get picked up and placed alone on a coffee table.

Some of us don’t have whirlwind conversions, and we don’t get to be a part of some big movement or conference or trip or story.

Some of us just get knocked and pounded by everyday life, and glorify Him with our polished simplicity.

To be honest, I’d rather be smashed to pieces once than constantly eroded away.

But that’s what I am, eroding.

I’m not withering away to nothing, though. I’m being polished.

He’s taking away my rough patches.

This monotony, this everyday life, my worries and exhaustion, my boredom, my emptiness and dryness, my lack of fervor, these things aren’t necessarily bad.

I’m still being changed, sculpted, and molded.

He’s just taking His good old time to do it.

And so, while I think that nothing interesting is happening to me (nothing worth blogging about, certainly…), something is happening to me!

You just won’t be able to see it until He’s finished.

Let’s remember that the tide, the struggle that comes with the quick rushing in and the relief that follows when we breathe air as it recedes, will never stop. It will be a constant rollercoaster. A constant pounding.

But it’s a lot more effective at polishing than simply doing nothing at all.

Let the rough edges of your life be smoothed out the next time the tide comes in to drown you.

A breath is always a few seconds behind.

And a smoother story awaits.

 

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