I wake up every day with a fervor to make things happen. By 10am I’m already frustrated, seething from a series of early morning setbacks. Trying to grasp for some sort of control, I usually resort to grabbing a sponge and a mop and making my countertops and floors shine. That I can do.
Life on the other hand baffles me- I cannot keep it clean no matter my best intentions. It never fits into the flow of my planner or my perfect hopes.
My thirties have been a decade of learning to let life happen to me (I wrote about it more here), when I all I want to do is cram it mercilessly into my fixed ideas and frozen dreams. I’ve had to come face to face with all that has not yet come to be.
I’m always tempted to a type of dismal rumination on the seeming disruptions that have altered the ambitious goals for my life. But digressing down the woe-is-me-road only lands me in a dark dead end every time.
The only way out of this hole has been enchantment, a radical redefinition of the miraculous. A determination to interpret my days through the lens of God-soaked universe, where every disruption is welcome because it forces me off a flat, smooth path down one of spirit, color, and depth.
Out here, we must reckon with the ridiculous, make peace with the perplexity, and settle into the shifting shadows of our uncertain reality.
I think most of us witness miracles on Wednesday afternoon without knowing it.
We are all guilty of waiting for the wrong thing, for the angels to sing, for the winds of heaven to blow through our lives rearranging everything back into order and perfection, before we consider muttering a hallelujah.
With this perspective, I’m afraid to say, we’ll die jaded and bitter. Drained of all life decades before we are laid into the earth.
How will I respond to my reality? It’s a question I can’t ignore these days. My answer is mainly revealed in my posture towards the unplanned.
Will we clinch our teeth around every surprising corner?
Or can we admit our utter powerlessness to finagle and manipulate every day to fit our design?
Walter’s words in this interview are exactly what I needed to hear as I rethink the meaning of a miracle and start to wonder if maybe, just maybe, I’ve encountered angels when my plans have gone awry.
“I think we think in terms of systems and continuities and predictability and schemes and plans. I think the Bible is to some great extent focused on God’s capacity to break those schemes open and to violate those formulae. When they are positive disruptions, the Bible calls them miracles. We tend not to use that word when they are negative. But what it means is that the reality of our life and the reality of God are not contained in most of our explanatory schemes.
And whether one wants to explain that in terms of God or not, it is nonetheless the truth of our life that our lives are arenas for all kinds of disruptions because it doesn’t work out the way we planned.
What the Bible pretty consistently does is to refer all those disruptions to the hidden power of God.”