Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Shine

IF thou indeed derive thy light from Heaven,
Then, to the measure of that heaven-born light,
Shine, Poet! in thy place, and be content:--
The stars pre-eminent in magnitude,
And they that from the zenith dart their beams,
(Visible though they be to half the earth,
Though half a sphere be conscious of their brightness)
Are yet of no diviner origin,
No purer essence, than the one that burns,
Like an untended watch-fire on the ridge
Of some dark mountain; or than those which seem
Humbly to hang, like twinkling winter lamps,
Among the branches of the leafless trees.
All are the undying offspring of one Sire:
Then, to the measure of the light vouchsafed,
Shine, Poet! in thy place, and be content.
- William Wordsworth

I was invited to dinner at the home of a very nice young family last Monday. The weather was pleasant, even though the highs here have been in the lower 90’s recently. We sat outside on the porch and had pulled pork sandwiches, sweet potatoes, and an ambrosia salad. Fearful of anything covered in a white sauce, I was skeptical of the mandarin oranges and pineapple that were encased in sour cream, coconut, and marshmallows. We really had an enjoyable evening and I found myself saying, “Orange you glad you’ve made friends?”

As little Ruthie and Lilly ran inside to watch “Lilo and Stitch,” I was asked how life in Arizona is really going. After all, it’s been two years since I left friends and family and the great state of Texas to trek out to the desert. And what a two years it has been. What a gambit of emotions I've felt...then and now, and all parts in between. Many miles jogged, grilled cheese sandwiches and cups of coffee made, e-mails written, lessons taught, lessons learned, library trips made, tears cried, bills paid, hopes recorded, books read, conversations had, and laughs enjoyed. Believe me, the desire to run home has remained at the forefront of my mind. Catch me on a rough enough day and you will probably hear me lament the wish to be back in the Lone Star State and nearer to family. Truth be told, I would like nothing more than to spend the rest of my days in Texas. I believe that it would be both familiar and comforting. But I don't know if I can say good-bye to my friends and community here.

My response to my hosts was plain and simple. “I’m learning to bloom where I’m planted.” Asked to then clarify, I explained that I tend to live my life in anticipation of the next goal or adventure. The world just doesn’t feel right if I can’t pull my latest to-do list out of my drawer and add and subtract to it before I fall asleep. I’m so focused on thinking ahead that sometimes I forget to enjoy the present. I’ve been reminded by several friends and advisors to find contentment right where I am. In fact, beginning in August my prayer has been to find true contentment in the life I currently have. Thankfully, the Lord has been faithful to answer that prayer. Even in the past month I've felt peace seeping in and contentment allowing me to accept this desert as an important chapter in my life. I've made new friends, started new endeavors, and am blessed to find freedom I find in my job.

The Lord is teaching me to:
Continue to guard my heart.
Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.
Forget myself long enough to lend a helping hand (Philippians 2).
Get outside of myself.
Get moving.
Realize my potential.

This has become my home, and I'm ready to bloom.

IF thou indeed derive thy light from Heaven,
Then, to the measure of that heaven-born light,
Shine, Poet! in thy place, and be content...

1 comment:

Annie Parsons said...

Ginger, thank you for these perfect and timely words. Me too - that's all I can say. Me too.