an attitude of gratitude

I'm sure about a zillion preachers have used that phrase at one point or another. "You must cultivate an attitude of gratitude, my friends." It's a catchy little rhyme, isn't it? I heard it close to 14 years ago, I think, and I have never forgotten it. And now likely neither will you. :)

Gratitude is a wonderful thing, tho... when you are busy being thankful for the blessings you do have, the things that you don't have are no longer the center of your attention, which means that you are no longer the center of your own attention either. Gratitude gets us out of ourselves, and directs our attention to the Giver of all good things.

It's Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. and across the nation, people are stopping to think about the things for which they are thankful. At our Torch feast last weekend, we were challenged to come up with something memorable, something non-cliche.... none of this "I'm thankful for my friends and family stuff." Of course we are. But what else?

Well, I'm thankful for the "as is" section at IKEA. I found a great cabinet door for $3.00 last week that is now our welcome sign for Sacred Space. And I have an art project on my wall that is, at its base, two small tabletops (I think) from there - I believe they were $.30-$.50 apiece last year. And I have a great bookshelf that was supposed to be a tableleg... So there's my "memorable" bit of gratitude trivia. I know it seems like a silly thing to be thankful for. But the artist in me loves having a place to go for inspiration. :)

There are so many things I really am thankful for, on a much deeper and more meaningful level, tho. For my church community. For my pastor and his wife, who believe in God's call on my life even more strongly than I do, and who encourage me to live into it in every way they can. For the fierce women of God who have become my closest friends and confidantes. For blogging friends who have spoken so much encouragement and truth into my life over the past two years. For one friendship in particular that has taught me more about the unconditional nature of love than any other. And for an amazing, kind, compassionate, awesome, incredible, inspiring, sweet and loving God whose grace and mercy know no bounds.

I love You, God, and I am so grateful for You. Thank You for saving me, and for loving me so much.

i am amused...

and pretty excited, actually. :) I love WorshipHouse Media. (Thanks for the coaster at the Arts Conference!)


Daily Freebie Promo - "They'll Never Know" from Worship House Media on Vimeo.

how far...

Cathy has an excellent post up this week. I am so glad I know this lovely lady; she has a co-worker who is good friends with one of my good friends, and we met at a conference this summer. I lurk at her site fairly frequently, and am often inspired by her creativity and deeply thoughtful insights.

The post is about grief, and allowing ourselves time and space to grieve properly. It reminded me of saying Kaddish. It's hard to believe that wasn't even a year ago...

It's been quite a year.

I had occasion last week to look back on my first post of the year. Instead of making resolutions I knew I would break, I chose three things I wanted to see God do in my life over the course of this year - essentially: to refine my character, to help me recognize His voice more clearly, and to teach me to trust Him.

He's most definitely said "yes"... and there's still a whole month of the year left. :)

I am oddly reminded of something a good friend of mine said once (wow, also this year - were there like five years in the space of one this year?!): "It's like, I think, "wow, life hurts. Better get a helmet." and God responds by putting His hand on my shoulder, looking me in the eyes and saying, "No, no helmet. Trust Me." And then hits me in the head with a bat..."

Lol. Yep, it's been quite a year. But it's been so, so good. In a lot of ways, I've done a lot of mourning this year... but I am also learning to dance. And that is a good thing. Sooner or later I really will shed all this sackcloth. But I think I'm okay with still wearing it. At least for awhile. Because there's a promise that those who mourn may hope in:

Isaiah 61:1-4

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

Thank You, Jesus, for what You've done and are doing in me this year. I know that though You've purpose in all of it for me, it is also part of a bigger story, and that my story will show forth Your glory in ways I can hardly imagine from my limited perspective here. Thank You for the privilege of becoming a Repairer of Broken Walls. I am honored to have a role to play in Your Kingdom.

you have been counted worthy...

I was in line at the store the other day, and there was an older gentleman in front of me. He had only a handful of things - I forget what most of them were, but he was buying a large bottle of rum and a bucket of fried chicken from the deli. He was a weathered sort of man - deep lines of worry and unhappiness etched on his face - the sort of guy who would be completely believable as an old New England sailor if you put him in a yellow slicker and Wellingtons, and gave him a pipe and a rainhat and a wooden leg. I looked at him, and I looked at his dinner, and I thought, wow. How sad. What is it that has brought you here? I imagined him going home to an empty house, watching tv, and reading the paper, and having chicken and rum for dinner. Amazing how quickly we judge and concoct potential storylines, isn't it?

The lady at the checkout was extremely nice. She chattered at him as she rang up his groceries, and joked about remembering to take a break now because the chicken smelled so good. He kind of half-smiled at her as he left, and she wished him a good evening. Then she turned to me, and said, "He always seems so sad. So I try to make him laugh when he comes. If I can make him smile, that's something. He really needs to."

I love it that someone in a large grocery store has paid attention to the people coming through her line - that she remembers him, and tho she doesn't know his story, she cares enough to risk seeming a little foolish simply in hopes of getting to smile... which granted, is a small thing - but it's also amazing how a smile can completely change your day. I want to be that kind of person - the kind of person who notices the people around her, and starts to know and care about their stories. I do that with those that are closest to me, and with a number of blogospherical friends - but there are so very many people in the course of a day with whom I do not even make eye contact... That can change. I can be more loving than that.

And sure, it's risky. There are times when we will love ridiculously much, and it will be unappreciated, unseen, or unrequited even. There are times when we will be (or feel) betrayed and the pain of it will be suffocating, and we will need to remember how to breathe again. Love, however, does not look at that risk and retreat. It looks at that risk, and maybe it takes a deep breath and has to summon up some chutspa, but it loves anyway. It remains patient, it stays kind. It refuses to be envious, it chooses the road of humility, and it does not draw attention to itself in a boastful manner. It will not respond to mistreatment (either real or perceived) rudely. It does not seek its own gain. It doesn't go getting torqued off by just anything, and it forgets whatever wrongs have been done to it. It never delights in evil, and always rejoices with the truth. It protects. It trusts. It keeps hoping in the face of complete and utter hopelessness. It does not give up. And it never fails. It is always love.

Have you ever thought about that in relation to Jesus? It just struck me this morning (probably again, tho it feels like new revelation) that this is exactly the attitude Jesus had, even as He was nailed to a cross. He forgave all the wrong as it was being done. He stayed love. And love did not fail. In fact, He succeeded. Love literally "saved the day" - He saved us. He rescued us. He rescued me.

So even in those times when it is hard to love - when other roads would be "understandable" - I will choose love. I will risk it, to be like Him. And tho I may never be dragged before the Sanhedrin and beaten for my faith as the disciples were (Acts 5:41), I am sure there are other ways in which I will suffer for this choice. But I will count it all joy, to be counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name of Jesus - to be known as one who walked His way.

I can't do it by myself, Jesus. If I try to, I will screw it up. But You can make this true of me. You can so sanctify my heart and my soul that choosing love is just my natural response to anything, no matter what it is. Make it so, Lord, please. And may Your love shining through me reach this broken and desperately hurting world. Amen.

it's all about You

"Jesus is equal to every occasion." - Smith Wigglesworth


I'm reading a really interesting book right now - a collection of Smith Wigglesworth's sermons and writings on healing. It's completely flooring me, some of the stories he has to tell. I find my faith stirred to pray more confidently and more boldly as I read...

And at the same time, I find myself so humbled. I realized yesterday that my gaze is not as fixed on Christ as it could/should be. Even when I am praying for people, I am often looking at them and at their situations as I pray, and not at Jesus. Even when I am in a worship service, I am often distracted by what is going on around me and not by Jesus.

But I want to be. I want to be so incredibly distracted by Him that everything else just pales by comparison. I want to be so enamored with Christ that I am what the poet in Song of Songs calls "faint with love." I want to abide in Him so intimately that it becomes difficult to tell where I leave off and He begins - I want to decrease exponentially, so that He may increase... I want to fix my eyes on Christ, because He is equal to every occasion - and there is nothing - no problem, no heartache, no confusion, no betrayal, no misunderstanding, no illness - nothing! - greater than He is. And when we rest in that - when we remember that ours is the God who breathed life into existence, who by a word spoke light into being, who holds all things together - that ours is the God who rose from the dead, and is still in the business of resurrecting people - then there is nothing that comes our way that will overwhelm us. It can try if it wants to. But it will fail miserably. Because our God is bigger than everything in all of creation added together. Is anything too great for Him? No. No, it isn't...

Jesus, we look to You. Be all that we can see. May Your Bride be enthralled by Your beauty, and may all else fade in the light of Your Presence - You are God with us. With us. You are not a God who is far away, but You are here. Now. And there is not one thing that is too big for You. So whatever it is, for each one of us - that thing that seems too big but isn't - we entrust You with that. Your Word says that all things work together for the good of those who love You. I believe that. And I believe that somehow, it will all be for Your glory in the end. Help us to remember today that tho we are individual people with individual stories, unique, and genuinely special to You - it is not about us. It has never been about us. It has always been all about You. Your Name. Your Glory. Your Renown. Be glorified in us, Jesus. Be glorified in every occasion. Amen.

intentionality

so a few of us have been talking... (that's where it always starts, isn't it?) and this word, "intentionality," keeps popping up.

Webster's illuminating definition of intentionality is to do something with intention. (lol) So I looked up intention, too. To do something intentionally is to resolve to do it; it involves purpose, meaning, and significance. You do it because it matters. Which means you probably care. Getting intentional, then, is actually going and doing something because you care...

I saw a picture of that last Sunday when I attended the morning worship service at a very nice little Presbyterian church in the next town over. I'd driven by it several times a week for a few months, and had been meaning to go - so last Sunday, in spite of the fact that it was actually snowing (kind of) and I was going to be 10 minutes late, I went.

They're strategic, let me tell you.

At the end of the driveway, there are all sorts of signs (some of which are pretty punny) welcoming you to their church and inviting you to pull in. There's a lot of trees, so it's hard to see what you're pulling into exactly. It wasn't the parking lot I expected! It was a gravel driveway that led up to what looked like a really big house. But there were signs, so I knew I was in the right place. I parked on the side of the driveway by a large pond, and walked up the drive to the house. The sign said the office was thru the doors I was approaching and the sanctuary was down the hill and around the corner. There were floor to ceiling windows on that side of the house, so I thought I'd try to sneak in through the office. Surely there was a hallway or an elevator or something.

Oh, no. The offices were on an open balcony wrapped around 3/4 of the sanctuary. There were no stairs. I could see the pastor's head over the railing from the door. So I went back out. No way to sneak around the back. There was only one way in - down the hill, past the really big window. The pastor would definitely see me approaching...

So I told the introvert in me to shut up and tromped down the hill past the windows and in through the doors of the entry. I found a bulletin with the order of service easily, and an usher who had (wonders!) spotted me coming, came around and opened the door. All thoughts of slipping in unnoticed died quickly. They were seated in the round, pretty much. So I went to slip into the closest empty chair, but caught the usher's hesitation. I turned and looked at him. He was a really nice older gentleman. "Do you see somewhere you'd like to sit?" he asked. "well, it doesn't really matter," I said, as I'd realized I'd already goofed and was supposed to let him do his job and find me somewhere to go. "Come this way," he said.

And we walked all around the back of the room (past the big windows again) and to the far side of the sanctuary. Every single person in the room knew I was there by the time I found a seat as far as possible from the exit. There was absolutely no way I was going to leave without talking to someone. I was also about 5 yards from the table with coffee and cookies on it.

Nice. These people were good, I will grant them that.

And you know, for all that I just joked about it - they really were. And it was as genuine as it was intentional. They were honestly glad to see me. They hoped I would come back. They didn't pressure me to stay longer. They asked questions about where I lived and how I'd found the church - but didn't pry.

Their worship space was really interesting too. The design of your worship space can say a lot about what you value - it doesn't always, because sometimes we're not lucky enough to get to design it from the ground up, and sometimes we're stuck with ridiculously high platforms and whatnot - but these people just built their space, and they'd obviously put a lot of thought into it. It was well-done. It was nice. Obviously pricey, but tasteful. There were all the elements of a traditional church - altar, podium for the pastor/lectionary readers, the flags, hm... not sure if there was a cross or not (I ended up unfortunately behind a pole and couldn't see much) - grand piano just off to the side, the aforementioned poles/pillars that reminded me of older buildings... but the whole room was carpeted, and there were two gigantic and likely functional fireplaces. The chairs were set up in the round, and could be easily cleared or rearranged. And those windows overlooked the pond. It was beautiful.

But it was small.

It's a brand new building, and while there were seats, they don't have any room to grow.

During the announcements/concerns portion of the service, this guy talked about how they'd called hundreds of people in the area to invite them to Thanksgiving/Christmas services and tell them about their church. (They've been a couple towns over in an office park for awhile, so they're reaching out to their new neighbors.) He read a letter written by one of the women they'd talked to, and she'd been really blessed by the conversation and the fact that someone cared about her. When he finished reading, the man was quiet for a minute, and then said, in a broken sort of voice with the hint of tears in it, "We reached someone." And everyone, after a second, clapped a little.

It made me want to cry. I mean, yes, we should always rejoice when we are able to reach someone with the gospel - but that it should be so novel, so... unexpected... such an answer to prayer... People, this is the CHURCH! It's what she does....

I hope they reach a lot more people. And I hope their contractor is able to add on to their building, or that they're planning on adding another service... And I hope I never forget it, the way he said, "We reached someone." I want to be broken and humbled and deeply glad for every soul to whom I am privileged to be the hands and feet of Christ, but I never want to feel that as a rarity.

Teach me, sweet Jesus, how to reach out to this lost and broken world, with all the intentionality that You do. Amen.

i'll never know...

Dearest Lord Jesus,

All I can say in response to Who You are and what You've done is... thank You.
I will never truly know nor understand how much it truly cost You to save me. Thank You for being the Bridge that led me to life.

Amen.

finding vision - part 2

"Hope is hearing the music of the future. Faith is to dance to it." - Reuben Alves

I think the orchestra might be on holiday...

So... I'm obviously in a bloggy mood today. :) And I've been thinking a lot about hope. It's been kind a recurring theme this year, actually. Learning to hope, recognizing that it's something I have struggled with for awhile, trying now to figure out what to hope in...

Our pastor says to hope in God, and not in what we think He's said. He isn't advocating not believing God's promises in His Word - rather he's refering to those things we feel God has told us about specific situations. And I get that - to a degree. Rachel's post on hope this week spoke into that, actually...

But that leaves me with a question.

What do you with it when you feel like God has promised you something? What do you do with it, when you look at a mountain, and you see your future on it? Do you say, "thanks for the promise, God?" and go on with your life as if nothing has happened? Or do you say, "NO! I am going to believe this no matter what." And how do you know for sure that God spoke?

Our series at Torch right now is about relationships. We're being encouraged to believe for godly mates. Which is great... but okay, seriously, statistically - we can't possibly all get married because there are more women than men in the world. I just want to point that out...

One of the things that stuck with me from that prayer meeting last night was a call issued to the church at large to step it up in the area of adoption - to be the hands and feet of Christ to the "unwanted" - to become parents to an otherwise parent-less generation. I have always wanted to adopt. I have always wanted to be a mom. And I have always wanted a large family.

Praying last night, and remembering all of this, I found myself crying out to the Lord about it all. I know that I can be a "mom" whether I'm married or not. Amy Carmichael was Amma to hundreds of children in India, and she never married. In fact, she turned down a perfectly good proposal from a man she truly loved to stay in India and continue her work there.

Is it weakness to say that I don't want that?

Is it weakness to say, "God, I will go wherever You want me to go, and I will do whatever You want me to do, but please, will you either take away my desire to be married altogether and make me okay with the thought of a life lived alone, with You alone as my husband, or could we just get on with this?" I am 33 years old. I do not want to be having babies when I am 40.

And how do you adopt a million kids and yet travel all over the world? Which is an equally strong desire of my heart right now... And on what pretext do you do that - travel all over the world, I mean? What is my calling? What is God's vision for my life? All I know are pieces of it. Teaching. Singing. Mentoring. Writing. Travel. A passion for His bride and for the unity of the church. Concern for my generation, and the way we seem to be, in general, so lost... even those of us who aren't eternally lost are still wandering about (many of us) wondering what we're supposed to do with our lives and looking for meaning...

It seems to me that it would be so much easier to determine a vision for my life if I knew this one piece... but maybe that's just an excuse. I don't know.

Just thinking. And trying not to be too depressed about it. Failing rather miserably at the moment. :( But knowing that for all that it's completely cliche, it really will be alright. God knows His plan. And it's a good one. Far better than anything I could have ever come up with on my own. And the thing is, I love my life right now. I know that I am serving God well as a single woman, and I am glad for the freedom I have. I just wish... I don't know. I wish I knew for sure whether it's something I should hope for, getting married someday - or if throwing in the towel and giving up on that dream altogether is something I can somehow manage to do without a trace of bitterness, regret, or hard-heartedness. If He'd just say - I think I could be okay with it. Really... But right now, I'm really not. Right now I am really tired of waiting for "someday."

Rant over. Now seeking chocolate...

this delicate dance between grace and love

Over the past week I've had a lot of tough conversations, and read a few things that have profoundly disturbed me, and it's gotten me thinking about this delicate dance between grace and love.

"...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:23-24) This is the truth and the gospel - we have all completely screwed up on any number of levels, and worse: we, without Christ, are "by nature objects of wrath" (Ephesians 2:3) - but there is grace and redemption and forgiveness and reconciliation because of Christ's death and resurrection, and this is good news!!

But sometimes I fear that in the name of love we do not speak the truth as clearly as we ought. That in the name of compassion we adopt this "I'm okay and you're okay" philosophy that looks and sounds so nice and kind, but is actually full of hell, because it's a lie. We are not okay, and we have never been okay - it is why Christ came and died for us. There was a price paid for our freedom! And to deny that we have needed that ransom is to deny love...

Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us that "we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

He gets it, this God of ours, that temptation to sin comes at us in a zillion different ways, because not only does He see it, but He's been there, on the receiving end. He didn't give in to it, but He knows what it feels like be in those situations, and He knows how to help us in our time of need. We can come to Him in confidence, knowing that we will find mercy and grace. Romans 8:26: "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." His heart is filled with compassion for us, and He receives us as we are.

But He does not leave us that way.

The Bible tells us, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2) This is a process that takes cooperation between the Spirit at work in us (sanctifying us and making us more like Jesus) and we ourselves (choosing to allow Him to do it). It is not always easy, this becoming holy - it requires us to die to ourselves, and we do not always want to do that - and sometimes we want to but we don't want to but we do want to...

I love the way Peterson paraphrases this in the Message: "It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different." (Romans 7:21-25)

And that's the thing - He acted to set things right. Because there were things that needed to be set right. And there are things that still do...

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. - 1 John 4:7-9

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

God is love - and love rejoices in the truth.

I did a word search on Bible Gateway, looking for that verse about speaking the truth in love, and it turned up a number of verses that taken together make it very clear that there is a deep correlation between truth and love. Not surprising, as the Word tells us both that God is love and that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life... (John 14:6)

Love will always tell you the truth. Paul tells us that "...speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ." (Ephesians 4:15)

I want that. I want Truth-speakers in my life who will tell me when I am getting it wrong, so that in all things I will grow up into Christ. And I want to be a Truth-speaker - not because of some self-righteous "I'm right and you're wrong" mentality - but because I love people and because I want to spend eternity with everyone.

The goal is godliness... the heart is love... and love does not lie to you and tell you that something wrong is okay when it isn't. It does not tell you, as you are walking into sin, that it's fine that you're doing it, because that's just where you are right now, and that everything's going to work out, and not to worry about it. It does not tell you that just because your situation is atrocious, that just because something horrible has happened to you, that you are justified in responding to it in an ungodly manner. Love turns and looks straight at that which would destroy it and continues to be love. ("Forgive them, Father, for they do not know what they are doing.")

God is love. He is also the source of life. And love values life - always.

About a week ago we started talking about "the abortion issue" at Torch, as we began praying for the upcoming election, and for God's kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. It has been a week of hard conversations and fervent prayer, and I have debated saying anything at all... but I cannot be silent. More than 50 million babies have been robbed of their destinies in this nation alone, and it is time for the bloodshed to stop. It is time for the Church to repent of her indifference and to do something about it. Our God can move mountains. He can heal our land.

He can also heal people.

There is grace. There is always, always, always grace. But "what shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" (Romans 6:1-2)

I had the incredible privilege of watching /participating in (via the Internet) a prayer meeting in San Diego, CA last night, led by Lou Engle. At one point in the night, we prayed a prayer together that many involved with Bound4Life have been praying already for months:

"Jesus, I plead Your Blood over my sins and the sins of my nation. God, end abortion, and send revival to America."

It is a simple prayer, and it is heartfelt. And I am so humbled to be allowed into God's throne room, to repent on behalf of my nation, and to plead for the mercy He so freely gives.

waiting for the light to change...

I had an interesting experience this evening ...er...morning... on my way home from Stephie's. Those of you who know me well know that I have a tendency to not really pay attention to where I'm going when I'm driving, particularly if I'm thinking about something. I had rather a lot I was thinking about - all at the same time - lost track of where I was, and turned a bit too soon. I noticed as soon as I was halfway around the corner that it was the wrong road, and thought shoot. what have I done? I was now headed in completely the opposite direction of home, and I rather wanted to get there.

And God said, "Hap, sometimes life is like this. You think you're headed one way, and then the road will take an unexpected turn. You're still going where you're going - you are just getting there a different way."

I wanted to turn around and go back the way I'd come; I was pretty sure the way I'd meant to go home was quicker, as it led, you know... home. As opposed to the opposite direction. But God said, "No. I have something for you on this road."

So I kept driving. Looking at the clock. Wondering what on earth I was doing, driving the "wrong" way at 12:30am and wondering if this really was God, or if I was being an idiot. Finally I came to the intersection towards the end of this road where I could turn onto the road that would take me home. And the light was red.

Now the interesting thing about this particular intersection is that there's train tracks that run through it, so you have to stop on this side of the train tracks before you get to the actual intersection. So here I am, sitting at a red light behind empty train tracks, looking yards ahead to the intersection I need to turn left through, and watching the occasional car go through it... and the light I am facing stays red.

For a really, really, really long time.

I started to get a little impatient. I started to get a little annoyed. And the guy behind me started to honk at me. At which point I said, out loud (because, of course, talking to the people in other cars that annoy you is ever so helpful), "The light is red! It's not like I can do anything about it! Seriously...." And I gave up. And sat there, while people around me got antsy.

And then the light turned green.

And it seemed to me, right then, to be the perfect metaphor for my life. In so many areas, I feel like I was headed one way, and ended up taking a "wrong" turn somewhere (a turn that may not have been as wrong as I'd thought) - but now I am sitting at a ridiculously long red light, wondering what in the world I am doing here anyway, and waiting for the light to change - yet somehow still certain that in spite of the oddness of this moment, it is, for some reason, exactly where I should be just now...

I don't know what to make of that.

But here I sit. Waiting for the light to change.

And I imagine that as I wait here, the Light will change me.