8th & Wyandot: Keeping A Big World Small

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Last summer I took a few kids on a short hike less than an hour outside of Denver. The whole thing was a bit of a nuisance to me, to be honest. I had so much work that needed to get done that the thought of burning an entire morning on a hike seemed like a terrible waste.

The moment that turned this morning around for me happened on the drive into a beautiful foothill community when one of the kids, who had lived in Denver her entire life, said “This is the furthest away from Denver I have ever been!” Her statement was enough to make me pause. Most of the people who move to Denver come, at least in part, because of the accessibility of the mountains. “Everyone” has gone on at least a few hikes. But somehow she had fallen through some pretty big cracks in my assumptions during her 11 years of life.

The hike was a blast, partly because she kept noticing everything with such excitement that it caused me to remember how amazing the mountains really were. She noticed the flowers, the rocks, the trees, the chipmunks. Everything was new, and she soaked it all up.

It’s funny how I tend to resist the bigness of our world. I experience something breathtaking, like the mountains, and my brain immediately goes to work trying to make it all fit into the boxes of assumptions and awareness that already exist. After a while, hiking in the mountains feels no different than watching a movie.

This season invites us into an experience of new birth—to be born again. The thing with being born is that a child enters into the same world they have always been a part of, but have never seen. The invitation to be born again is often not an invitation into something outside of us or outside of the reality of our lives. It’s an invitation to take a second look, to dig a little deeper and allow ourselves to see all the familiar things with new eyes. Just like my experience of hiking with a first timer, I am invited to stand in awe of the breath taking nature of this life I have been living all along.

This post is the most recent 8th & Wyandot reflection. To find it, as well as the entire 8th & Wyandot archive, Click Here.

8th & Wyandot: Born Again

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You have no doubt noticed the birth happening all around you. The tiny blades of grass pushing their way out of the chilled soil, the baby ducks and geese following their mothers around in a scene that melts the hardest of hearts, the light of the sun continuing to grow in length out of the darkness of Winter, maybe even the renewed sense of energy and ambition within yourself as the new season invites you to participate. It’s as if everything is being born again.

When a family moves into Joshua Station, it can feel like they are coming from the depths of Winter. In most cases, life has not been easy. Struggle has been the daily reality as most ambition and motivation subside to make room for the pursuit of survival. So much within the life of the family has become dormant, enveloped by a season of darkness.

Story after story has confirmed for me an important movement within this journey.  The Winter, though marked with struggle and lacking so much of what we often think life should be about, acts as a womb. A womb out of which a new person, a new family, a new sense of life is born. Over and over again I have witnessed families experience this rebirth at Joshua Station. They are born again into a renewed vibrancy, an exciting motivation for life, a deeper ambition, a truly excited anticipation of what lies ahead.

As you begin to kick the ice off your shoes and allow the warmth of the sun to melt away the depths of your Winter, I pray that you too will notice all the ways you are being born again. I pray that you will be able to look back at that season of dormancy, struggle, and darkness that you have emerged out of with a deep appreciation for the preparation of growth it fostered.

 

This post is the most recent 8th & Wyandot reflection. To find it, as well as the entire 8th & Wyandot archive, Click Here.