"Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way we like to dream about. The off center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don't get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limits. It's a very tender, non aggressive, open ended state of affairs."
A friend shared this on line today and I just love it. I think it's from Richard Rohr. Where else do we learn but in life? It will either make one ugly and hard or it will be the thing that is a part of setting one free. I've learned from my life and from some good friends that life is all about now...the moment. The past is over and any future is just an imagination. And more than likely it won't turn out like we imagine it. That's something I stopped doing a couple years ago and my life is much better for it.
The off center, in-between state is a wonderful place to live. It's so funny how the old me would see this new me as being irresponsible. I probably am according to what the world values but I just don't value those things anymore. When it comes to the world and how she works I'll do what is necessary but more than likely no more than that.
The "now" is that in-between space...the flowing tide. Dropping anchor just won't work here. Flexable becomes necessary. This is the place of verb/grace. It's the only place we have the opportunity for things such as confessing, repenting, loving, responding, growing, reaping, changing, sowing, running, dancing, singing, and so forth. I 've grown to love this unsettled active place.
Every time I feel myself gravitating back to the old place of noun/law, my mind begins to get twisted around and frustration begins to set in and I recognize what is happening. I know that space well enough and know that if I stay there I become Dictator again and I don't want to be Dictator ever again. What's so interesting to me is to watch how others respond to what I am doing in situations when they are looking for a Dictator. Often in those moments they look at me and see someone who is too lax and it frustrates them. That is, when it is someone else they want to see the law enforced upon. Oh but do they love this new space I am in when it is themselves that have made a mistake.
Just yesterday I could see the frustration on one of my daughters faces when I wouldn't respond with right-handed power in regards to her sister and her disrespectful behavior. I was fully engaged but not in the way she wanted me to be. I looked at her and asked----"How well did 12 years of being that kind of a dad work in our home?" She was silent. She knows all too well how it had worked and she knows how different the past 3 have been in comparison. The difference is as obvious as a mountain is in the flatlands.
A funny thing happened in my life when I began to see the power of treating my daughters (and others) with respect even in moments that most people would never think was appropriate. Things began to change...not due to fear but due to the transforming process of winning a heart by exhibiting a different way. Jesus' life is a wonderful teacher when it comes to all these things having to do with living in the off center, in-between state. It's a very tender, non aggressive, open ended state of affairs that is full of surprises.