The Discipline of Wandering

Summer affords me the easy rhythms of wondering and wandering. Here in Colorado we’ve had loads of rain- so these days I’m wandering hip deep in clover. Pulling it up out of my garden and wandering it over to grateful goats and one stubborn horse.

Most mornings I wander out the kitchen door, to sit on the deck and watch the cat wander herself into my lap. After a while I wander over to a spot gone wild from neglect and rummage around for a few asparagus shoots.

Sometimes I wander alone, other times I wander with my kids. They lead; I follow.

We wander in search of spring’s new flower. We wander abandoning our sight and leaning heavily on sound in search of baby blue birds, the percussion of grass gone to seed and the syncopated cicada.

Wandering, by most accounts is aimless. The idea that anything in the Christian life is aimless might trigger some push back. I mean for crying out loud, this is a purpose driven life.

For just a minute, hold the trigger and ask yourself…

Just what would happen if I release my aim?

What would happen if I release my goal?

What would happen if I release the rat in the rat race?

In my wandering this summer, I am doing just that. Know what’s happening?

Grace. Rest. Wandering in the space of be-ing.

Hard as hell[1] for a driven person to refuse to drive. Requires the discipline of wandering.

 

What would it look like for you to submit to the Great Wanderer? He’s a pretty good guide.

Try wandering outside, leave your watch in the house, bring a child.

 

 

[1] I do not use this phrase glibly. Hell is hard. Like driving a stake in cement, like pounding our heads on brick walls. Heaven, however, is a bit like wandering into a pasture gone wild looking for asparagus shoots.

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Rotten Apples in this Basket

When we were waiting for our son to come along, my husband and I agreed that we wouldn’t immerse ourselves in all the parenting books that are available out there. We didn’t want the confusion that is inevitable with so much conflicting advice and felt that our time would be better spent elsewhere. Looking back, I’m really grateful for that intentional move because I’m quite heavily influenced by what I read. And recently our Good Dirt devotions have been cutting me to the quick.

 

You know how parents are told to make sure to shape their child’s attitude so that their behavior is just right so that their lives will turn out perfectly? (Even in Kingdom Living, we find ourselves losing track and aiming for ‘perfect’, so bear with me here) And you know how no matter what you say to your child, what you do is about the only thing they’ll actually pick up? Well, I’ve been doing my math lately and concluded that my poor son has little hope of ever being perfect. Not because of his attitude or behavior……but because of mine.

 

We came across some evening questions recently that went something like this: “How did you work with God today? What kind of good did you spread?” Good Dirt – Kingdomtide

 

I had allowed a dark cloud to remain over my head the whole day that affected every behavior and decision. So would you believe, I actually skipped over those questions and didn’t ask them? I didn’t ask them because I didn’t want to answer them. I didn’t want to consider them. The very thought of examining my own attitude and trying to answer how I (hadn’t) worked with God that day made me feel narcoleptic. Sleeping is an effective way of hiding. I really wanted to just sleep it off and wake up to a new day. In fact, I did. And of course I found that the new day required the same humility and repentance of me.

 

And then I saw this on the opposite page: “Tell about a time today when it was difficult to tell the truth.” (Stop it! Just stop!)

 

Isn’t it such a wonderful thing that bad attitudes and a refusal to work with God are redeemed at the cross?

“Lord, my heart turns toward you in repentance. Please transform my indignant attitude into a flexible one – one that works with You. Help my eyes to remain focused on You and not to look for an alternative goal. Thank you for drawing me to Yourself. I rejoice in You!”

 

If you need some time to reflect on the Grace and pursuing Love of God, take a long, quiet moment to read through Psalm 139. I’m writing that here so I can remember where to go when I need to turn my attitude around tomorrow. I’m glad I’m heavily influenced by what I read.

 

Tamara