This clipping was done several years ago. It fell out of my journal this morning as I got ready for my Wednesday "study"/quiet/ mid-week rest day.
I sat in front of the warm woodstove fire, watching the end of a Japanese typhoon's wind blow quickly through, whipping snow and left-over fall leaves around. I re-read the clipping and Ibegan to think :
I have one life to live : How will I live it?
I have one (raspy) voice : What will I say with it?
I have one shot at this thing called life : what will I do with it?
Life is short, too often too short; I know that ALL too well.
How did I answer myself? All I know is: I want to live my life well. I want to live my life with hope and prayerfully share that Hope more by living it than talking about it.
I want to be HOPE.
Sometimes it is hard to hang onto what you know to be true.
Sometimes our heart aches and hurts like a hurricane, changing everything around us. It seems like life is going to fall apart. Schedules get busy. Weather seasons change, bringing traffic delays, even a new season of illnesses that hit those around you.
The dreams that you have are still undone. There are days where your passion becomes drudgery, making a job real work, and not a desire that you were working to see accomplished.
We know we are loved. We know that things, eventually will turn out…..
Even if the healing of an illness doesn’t come the way you thought…..or wanted.
Even if life totally falls apart – emotionally, physically, or your career/job, you know you can stand firm in the One you run to, believe in, who works all things for good - even if it isn’t the same ‘good’ you think it should be.
Even if it is hard to trust, we will. For we know we are in Good Hands. Strong Hands. In One who not only loves us, but is….always.
On more than one occasion over my four score plus years, during the many ‘adventures’ we have faced, people have teased me, asking me if I am related to Job. Even one of the physicians on my medical maze team made a comment recently stating: “You may be in your mid-60ish range, but your body is more like one hundred and sixty something!” (Gee thanks, Doc, even if I, more than often do feel one hundred and sixty something!)
I especially find it amusing when people ask if I’m related to Job, as one title I toyed with for my first book, before I settled on Loose Screws and Skinned Knees, was: Does Job Have a Sister? (Not that I want to know! I don’t want to live even close to 160-200 years old!)
Yes, I’ve encountered many obstacles. Yes, I am literally ‘screwed up” and bolted together in more than a few places (like a dozen or so more?!). Over the decades, well intentioned “friends” have come to me declaring “this is happening because you must have some secret sin” or “you don’t have enough faith” or the classic: “God is punishing you for something you must have said or done.” With friends like that, who needs enemies, eh?
Sure, I’ve had my days when I have wailed: “WHY is this happening, God?” as I lay crumbled on the floor in tears. But I have had many more days, instead of wailing “WHY?” I have learned to do somethingauthor/speaker Sheila Walsh so eloquently said this week. On Wednesdays in the Word on LIFE Today, she recounted her times of ‘wailing’. Shelia shared she learned to LEAN into, to be REAL, to be HONEST to the One who LISTENS. After all, if God allowed Satan to do anything he wanted to against Job, (except kill him), whoi are we to argue with the One who LISTENS when we wail about what He has allowed us to experience?
I had a poster that hung on my bedroom wall in high school 40+ years ago. I took it with me when I went off to college and hung it on my college dorm room wall above my head. Shortly after I got married, my husband framed the poster. Since that time, it has prominently hung in every home we have lived in to this day. We have purposely hung the framed poster where I will see it often. The photo on the poster is of one of my favorite “run away to” places: Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, OR. I would ‘run” when I was spent. I would ‘run’ when I was at the end of my rope, or I would 'run' when I finally waved the proverbial white flag, and came to the end of myself. Haystack Rock and the ocean beach allowed me to wail at the top of my lungs without fear of being heard by other human voices. When I was on empty, when I was spent, tears cascading down my cheeks, I could hear words being whispered on the ocean breeze: “Be still, and know…” The exact words on the poster.
A short time ago I learned the phrase “ to be still”, in Hebrew, means “to release; to let go”. Or as I might put it in my last blog post: to “REST: R elinquish E verything, S ubmit Totally; to quit trying to hang on to, or to stuff deep inside me, whatever I was wrestling with. To rest means to get my grubby hands off of the situation, to open my tightly clenched fist, palm side upwards, and let go.
It will not to do any good in the span of Eternity, to lash out at the circumstances I find myself in. Nor will it be helpful to lash out at my so-called ‘friends’. But it will do me good to be real. It will do me good to be honest as I lay crumpled in a crying heap, as I wail to the One who LISTENS, and let it all go.
How about it? Are you willing to join me as I LEAN into the One who LISTENS?
The first few snowflakes of the season are wafting on a late fall breeze. I can’t resist going outside. I stand just outside our front door. I gaze up to the already snow-capped mountain peaks. I stop to revel in the stillness. I breathe in the quiet of the moment and quietly listen. I let tiny flakes land on my cheek.
I step back inside and stoke the woodstove. I return to the bustle and routine of my day. The quiet stillness of the previous moments have quickly vanished. I flip channels to find my favorite music station that I use for a background as I work. We get our radio via TV – call it an “Alaska thing”, especially in our rural area that has poor reception for just about everything.
Scrolling through channels, I hear the all too familiar commercial jingle “Can you hear me yet?” AUGH! Why is that particular jingle so hard to forget? Why is it as annoying as it is?
I think the jingle is hard to forget because it is catchy. It is an easy phrase to remember. But maybe, just maybe, we remember it because the phrase resonates with our hearts and not just our heads.
So, what are YOU? Are you a “hearer”: where the message goes in one ear and out the other”? Are you a “listener”: you not only hear the message, but it resonates with your heart? Or, are you a “doer”: you not only hear the message and it resonates with your heart, but you act on the message you heard. Maybe you are a combination of the last two.
The message I heard, and listened to, and work hard to do is: Be simple. Be yourself. Listen more. Walk your path, and not someone else’s. Be faithful to what you hear and do in the little things…..for the results will be big, changing the world in a way that only you can.
Can you hear Me yet?
Care Tuk is a nationally known speaker, educator, and retreat/workshop leader. She has been a school, hospital, and home health occupational therapist for more than 30 years. She has been named as a Top Business Woman in America and recognized for her work with youth, disability outreach and awareness, and the American Cancer Society.