Monday, March 21, 2016

the one thing i will do this holy week

The horses are galloping outside this morning.

I know because I hear their heavy hooves landing soft on the pasture outside the window.  I can't see them, only the single broken line of light laid across the pond and the black silhouettes of trees barely visible.  The sky teases with a rich shade of midnight blue that is several hours too late.  Every day the world moves from blackness to deep color in those early hours.  The blanket of dawn is cozy and full of promise.  My life is too and I feel undeserving of such an offering.

I've been inspired in countless ways lately to
write beautifully,
act beautifully,
live beautifully,
in response to the beauty I find everywhere.

Sometimes I want nothing else.  Other times I get stuck in ugly.
My ugly words,
ugly intentions,
ugly thoughts
stick to me like mud and I just need a good showering off.

I know that to capture a beautiful life there is no time to waste on ugly.  And I know the greatest source of ugly for me right now disguises itself well.
Lovely landscapes,
perfectly prepared meals,
smiling children,
gleaming homes.
What seems like a delightful diversion is really a giant roadblock in the middle of my journey towards true beauty.  It's nothing new, but if I want to live in beauty instead of just visiting it on occasion, the Pandora's box I hold can't have a hold any longer.

This week we take our final steps towards Easter.  I haven't prepared my heart as much as I would have liked, but today is just as good a day as any to honor Lent - a time of releasing something that has become too important, making room for what is most important.  Today I draw a hard line because the soft one in the sand has been too easy to cross, to cover up.

My phone can't have free reign anymore.
Something so small offering me a world so big.
Something so familiar carrying me farther away from myself.
Something so full of possibility standing impenetrable between me and where I really want to go.

So here's my hard line.  I am putting my phone back in it's place.  And here's what I have to say about that.
I am the boss of the screen.  The screen is not the boss of me.
It can't tell me how to feel or what to think.
It can't plant seeds of jealousy or harvest weeds of regret.
It can't offer up an impossible standard for which I reach.
It can't steal real life moments with my family and friends in exchange for artificial ones.

And so,
I may post my own stuff, but I will not peek at others.
I will share only what I consider life-giving on Facebook and Instagram.
I will exercise self-control by not scrolling or searching for anything on a screen.
Email will stay contained in it's designated time slots instead of creeping into every corner of my day.

For the next seven days I will do this completely and if I'm feeling like my phone knows it's place maybe I will let it out on a short leash.  If it's still pushing me around I will keep it in it's box of tight parameters for a while longer.

How much more would sprout up inside of me if I got outside of there.  Sometimes we need to be reminded that we have something to offer to the world and it's being stifled by all the time we spend looking obsessively for what others are offering.  I love the potential of social media.  But I also know the dangers.  This week my soul needs some breathing room that can only be found in a complete turning away.

The sun has officially brought the day and there are countless things to see and do out beyond the green buds of the mulberry tree here at my parents' farmhouse.  I bet wherever you are today there is a window framing possibility for you too.  If something is keeping you from throwing open the door and running out wild and free, maybe it's time to put your something in it's place too.

It's passion week friends, don't let anything stand in the way.