invitation to abundant life

Ours is a life of transformation, of changing forms. We move from a dream to single cell to a zygote to an awkward teen to a middle aged person to a senior and finally beyond our sight enveloped into God’s dream once again. Sometimes these stages are cut short and we are embraced in Love sooner, sometimes way too soon. But the reality of transformation, literally meaning to change forms, is the constant. Like it or not, it is our reality. Sometimes the shifting is imperceptible and we wonder how in the world did we become someone with gray hair. Other times we’re watching for it, marking it practically on a daily basis, like when our son, Wallace, passed me in height.

This weekend several of our closest families and friends have graduations to celebrate: high school, college, law school. Celebrations marking the transformations are important and special. But when I think of these graduates, I have to smile as I see in my mind’s eye the tiny ones they once were: playing t-ball endlessly, a sweet smile underneath a bucket ‘hat’ during a trip to the zoo, face covered with chocolate sauce and ice cream. I can see how God’s time is eternal, expanding and contracting simultaneously—somehow these young people are both the age they are and all the former and yet to come transformations as well.

Sometimes we human beings get hung up on certain ages, stages and phases of transformation. It’s easy to do. We look back at a time in the past that was our ‘golden era,’ at least as we see it through the misty watercolor lenses. Or we yearn for a future phase, always out beyond our grasp. I remember my grandmother being ‘stuck’ on one of my phases. I was ‘Cassie’ in A Chorus Lineas a senior in high school. She never failed to come back to that touchstone, even decades later, such that she couldn’t ever really connect with my present self, so busy was she recalling that one period. Somehow there is a both/and—the cherishing of the current moment and delighting in the way now is embedded—intimately connected—with all our moments.

Transformations are our life, but when we get stuck in any particular one, life becomes a struggle. The invitation to abundant life is to appreciate and soak up each now, each changing form, while not losing sight of the whole arc of our movement from Love to Love. At those moments when we lean into the flow of changing forms, of transformation, trusting in the Holy One, we really live—we are truly alive to the preciousness that is our life. Ultimately it comes down to trust: trust that who we are—and whose we are—is both perfectly embodied in this moment and also so much more. We cannot see so much of what really is—except in those brief moments that take our breath away and we see with the eyes of Love, Love looking back at us.

Jesus embodied Love and was himself trustworthy and true. And he transformed, changed forms, just as we do. He promises us that in following him through all of the myriad form-changing that is our life, we, too, are embraced—endlessly abiding in the river of Love. As you journey through your day, what helps you to trust in this life of transformation? What gets in your way? How might you and I lean in a little more into this precious moment?

Holy One, in love you created us and called it good: Grant us the deep wisdom of your love that, wherever this day leads, our lives may remain rooted in your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hope to see you Sunday,