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Shot Of The Day

Kris Marathon Butterfly

Nothing Stays the Same

Ever have one of those seasons in your life where it feels like someone moved all the furniture in your house… while you were sleeping? One day everything is comfortable and invisible because you’ve been in this pattern for so long that you move without really focusing on the fixtures anymore. You can walk from one end of your house to the other in the pitch black because you know every stick of furniture, where your son is likely to leave his backpack and where your husband’s brief case will be by the door. You step over the dog without seeing the shape of his body because you know the spot where he fits between the coffee table and the french door. You don’t see them with your eyes because they have become so familiar that they are no longer separate from your space. They fill your space. They are your space. Like the breath we take in. It just seems to be there when we need to breathe. Or the rising and setting of the sun. Whether blazing hot or covered by the rain clouds, we assume their presence because they have set some sort of tone in our lives. You can’t remember anymore how the pattern started or when things went from cognitive recognition to assumed. Or from hard work or perseverance to natural. It was a slow fade. And then one day you walk into the house of your comfort zone, and someone has moved the couch. You think to yourself, who the hell moved the couch? That’s not where the couch goes. The couch goes HERE! You try to move it, but it won’t budge. So, you adjust but you bump into the darn thing every time you pass. Finally you submit to this new normal because the master decorator has decided that it’s time to rearrange the furniture of your life and you are quickly realizing that you are not a consultant on this particular job. You feel it when a friend that you’ve loved gets transferred to a different city and you won’t run into her and hear her laugh and enjoy her easy gift of hospitality. OK, you think, I can live with the couch there. You work on adjusting. And you’re doing pretty well, until you notice that your favorite chair has been moved — to an entirely different house! You love that chair. You’ve cried in it, spilled stuff on it and fallen exhausted into it when the only thing that can handle your posture is that chair. It’s the reality that hits when your pastor announces that he’s been called to a new mission field. He’s leaving to serve as a chaplain in the military. He needs to be a mobile resting place for those who serve to guarantee our freedom. He needs to give comfort to the one who roams for us. He needs to roam with them. You start to see that chair in a much different light. The chair stood ready to receive you whenever you needed to plop. The chair knew your story. Your quirks. How God shaped you. You decide to leave the house to get a taste of the familiar. Something that is stable. Your monthly board meeting. As you head to the restaurant where you’ve met with your compatriots once a month for years, you remember, your term is up. This meeting will be your last. You press your nose to the window before going in knowing that soon you will hear laughter and stories and tears beautifully mixed with the fragrance of unsweet tea and banana chocolate cake, your favorite finale. Your season here has come to a natural end. So you drive home pensively counting the pieces of furniture that haven’t moved when the phone rings. It’s the woman you’ve recently passed the leadership baton to in another organization you’ve loved and led for seven years. She’s already picked up the symbolic leather chair. The one that grew to fit your hips after years of late nights, deep thoughts and prayerful decisions. It fits her beautifully. She’s made for this chair. She’s soaring. You realize half way through the conversation that she’s pretending to need you for something just so she can see how you’re handling the move. You know at that moment she’s now leading the leader and you let go of the cushion you’ve been holding while you adjust. And just when you think you’ve counted all the moving parts, your son comes home from school with his year book and it lands with a thud on your heart. In bold beautiful letters on the cover it says… NOTHING STAYS THE SAME. It sends the breath you’ve been holding for weeks out of your lungs like a balloon that’s released without a knot. NOTHING STAYS THE SAME. I’ve always known that when seasons come to an end it’s natural to grieve the things that will never be the same. But I’ve never really focused on the fact that a season is defined by the fact that we settle into something. We get comfortable and when we are comfortable, we let our guard down enough to be nurtured in some way. It’s like a protective cocoon. Seasons become warm and familiar and safe. We get nourished there, but they are not meant to house us forever. They are places of preparation for the next thing. They are little incubators getting us ready to spread our wings and soar equipped with all we have absorbed and been fed in the cocoon of the season. Ironically, if you have the privilege of grieving the end of a season, it means that you were nurtured! You grew or healed or were transformed in some beautiful way. And God never grows us to keep us where we are. There is always more with the master designer. So if He is moving your furniture, take heart. That means He has more for you and your time in the cocoon is done. It’s time to fly. Spread your wings. Soar!

Posted: 8 May 2012