My husband and I recently went on a trip to a small winery in a sweet little mountain town in North Georgia. This was a spur of the moment trip that was prompted by the first free Saturday in months and a stirring in our hearts.
From the moment we arrived I was struck by the nostalgia and vividness of the experience around me. The last time I had been was on my bachelorette trip, so fond memories were left and right. I would point at various places exclaiming, “Oh! That’s where we ate lunch!” “I think that is the mountain we stayed on!” “This is the view I was talking about!” It was so fun to share such a special place with my favorite person after two years of trying to get us there.
Thinking back to that day, I liken it to The Wizard of Oz. When Dorothy steps out of her home into the world of Oz, her world that was once black, white, and gray, turns into a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors and vivid experiences. It was almost as though the scales of normalcy had fallen from her eyes. Dorothy was living “of the world” prior to Oz. She was so caught up in the normalcy and day to day experience, she wasn’table to see the world clearly until her normal was literally blown away. For me, this small, unexpected day trip did the same thing, just not in such a dramatic manner!
I think when you are living “of the world”, the everyday can begin to suffocate you. Things like catching up on sleep on the weekend, trying to maintain relationships with friends while you’re married, saving for a home, and going to work every day can take a toll on your soul. You start to view life in a way that is about maintaining and sustaining. How can I maintain my friendships? How can I sustain my livelihood? How can I maintain what we are doing and still get a house? How can I sustain myself if I don’t go to bed early every night? This kind of everyday living isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn’t really enrich your life or follow a purpose. When I stepped away from the everyday, this truth was revealed to me. I realized that my life had become a series of days held together by half-hearted attempts to live a good life. The problem is, I wasn’t really “living”. I was maintaining and sustaining…and God has so much more in store for me than that.
When I stepped onto the grounds of the winery I had longed to visit again, I felt something loosen inside of me. As the soft breeze blew my hair and the lush grass cushioned my feet, I felt a softening of my brow. As I took in the magnificent mountain range that enclosed this precious place, I felt my heart clench with longing. Why was I having such an emotional reaction to visiting a place I had been before, especially one only an hour and half from where I live? As I sipped the sweet wine in my Adirondack chair, I faced a verdant horizon that transported me to a different state of mind. I was surround by color, beauty, love, and the peaceful knowledge that the only thing I needed to do was be and the only place I was supposed to be was there.
Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. [Job 37:14]
…A simple reminder to just stop. Stop maintaining and stop sustaining. Take off the lens “of the world” and consider its Creator. Breathe in His creations and experience life. Be in awe of what He has done and for a change, forget about yourself. When that happens, I think God can move mountains in your heart…
What I am writing wasn’t realized on that day in a small mountain town. It’s been a couple of weeks of emotional realizations, deep conversations, and restless moments. On that day, God was setting something up inside of me. I am finally in a place where I have processed that and want to understand what it means. Unfortunately, it wasn’t contentment or understanding or even a solution to the “of the world” living I have been doing. It was simply a reminder that there is so much more to this life than the things of this world. My attempts to “live” paled in comparison to what God wants for me. We weren’t meant to merely go through the motions and check boxes by life events when we have completed them.
I’m currently reading a book called The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. There is a quote that helped unearth some of the things God place on my heart.
The boy didn’t know what a person’s “Personal Legend” was.
“It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is.
At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend.”
I guess I’m trying to re-remember what my Personal Legend is…or what I like to imagine as my Purpose. I think it is what God was breathing into my heart as I let myself relax enough to listen to Him that day. Like Dorothy, I was not in Kansas anymore. Color and life overwhelmed me. God was able to speak to me when I stopped trying to maintain my normal.
Perhaps we aren’t able to know our Purpose if we live “of the world”. As we grow older, we begin to care more about what is around us than what is inside of us. We cannot embrace or experience true life through God if we are too busy maintaining life on earth.
Help me to see the world vividly and in color. May I experience the wonders of this world in reverence of You. I pray that my eyes will open to what you have in store for me and the scales of normalcy will fall from them. I do not want to live “of this world”. Maintaining and sustaining are no longer enough for me. May I live every day in pursuit of Your Purpose for me and may I spend everyday truly living. Help me to be patient as I attempt to strip away the habits of this earth in order to live every day like I did on that beautiful Saturday. You are a wonderful Creator and I am overwhelmed by Your grace and desire to fill my life.
In your precious name, Amen.
I am so grateful for that unexpected, sweet trip to a little mountain town. Not only did I have a wonderful day date with my husband, I rediscovered something dormant in my heart that needed awakening. Whatever it leads to, I know I will be truly living.