Truth

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Twirl

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

I used to be a dancer. I can hardly believe it myself, as these days any dancing is generally an alcohol-fueled error of judgment — but it’s true. All the way through high school, I was a (thick-limbed) ballerina.

One of the fundamentals in ballet is spotting, a technique used to execute turns without losing balance. By holding the head in place and focusing the eyes on a set mark, spotting allows for steady rotation of the body while delaying movement of the head until the last minute. When the turn reaches the point at which the dancer can’t physically keep the focus forward anymore, the head quickly spins and the eyes immediately reorient on the spot on which they’d been fixed before.

Like this:

Life can toss us around like a tumbleweed, can’t it? I recently told a friend, “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been!” and by the end of our conversation I found myself saying, “Actually, I think I’m the saddest I’ve ever been.” And both were true, at the same time, in the same set of circumstances. Maybe this means I’m like Anne of Green Gables, vacillating between “the wings of enchantment” and “the depths of despair.” Maybe it means I need more meds.

Or maybe it just means that being human can be a very disorienting experience. There are highs and there are lows, and there are winds that knock us off our feet and whip us around for a bit, and it can be difficult to remember which end is up.*

These days, I’m spinning like a trailer park in a tornado. Junk is flying around, and sometimes it feels scary — because this is dangerous, man. Someone could get hurt. I could get hurt.

But as I reel, I remember that the only way to keep from falling is to keep a steady gaze on what is true and will not change.

“You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.”
–Isaiah 26:3

Stay steady. Stay true. Whatever you’re going through, whatever tempest has swept you up in its path, keep your eyes straight ahead. It’s the only thing that can turn a whirl into a twirl.

*I once heard that if you’re ever caught in an avalanche and get buried by the snow, you might not know which way to dig in order to reach the surface. Here’s what you do: spit. Gravity will drag that dribble toward the ground, and then you know to claw like hell in the opposite direction. Good luck and you’re welcome.

Tethered

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

For the past couple of days, I’ve been feeling a bit untethered.

I can see how one might define the word “untethered” as freedom – no constraints, no confinement, nobody puts Baby in a corner – and that is a valid interpretation. But that’s not what I’ve been feeling. To me this week, “untethered” has meant disconnection, detachment, a balloon in the wind, tossed around and longing for an anchor.

“Religion” isn’t a very popular word these days – and in a culture that has come to associate religion with dogma and hypocrisy, how could it be? “I’m not religious – but I am spiritual” is a common sentiment, because we are desperate to believe in what we know to be beautiful and mysterious, but we don’t want the baggage and guilt that come along with religion.

But I once heard that the word “religion” comes from the same Latin root as the word “ligament”: re- (again) + ligare (to bind). In its most authentic form, religion is about connection. Like a ligament, my God rebinds what was otherwise detached.

I may feel untethered, but my spirit is grounded and my hearts is secure. I belong to a bigger whole. And like so many other things I am learning these days, I’m writing it down to remember it’s true.

2 Timothy 1:7

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Sometimes, when life feels uncertain and I feel crazy, it’s good to remember that I have not been given a spirit of fear, but the power of love and a sound mind.

www.someecards.com

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

One of my favorite sites.

Warning: some are completely inappropriate.  But others… others are just perfection.