Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Have you ever had a gut-wrenching decision to make that rips at your very soul – no matter which “way” you decide, the factors are weighted heavily? I have had a couple of decisions like that in my life. In both cases, I prayed and pondered for weeks about the path I would take and I remember talking to God about it, pleading, “God, would you give me a sign? Anything, please, I just need a little help here.”
Of course, I didn’t see any bolts of lightning or have spiritual apparitions appear to me, but I always thought that if I meditated on it long enough, I would probably make the decision that would be most pleasing to God. Like most folks, I’ve found myself in self-made quandaries I shouldn’t have been in, have made bad judgments, and have been blessed by more grace of God than I deserve.
So when my lilac bushes started blooming at Thanksgiving this year, I couldn’t help but shake my head in puzzlement and ask, “Hmmm, is this a sign? If so, what did I need help with? You trying to tell me something, Lord?”
It hasn’t been a good last six months, what with the stress of the fire at the farmhouse and illness in the family, but either we’re coping with the stress, or most of the problems are working themselves out, so I hadn’t actually been asking for a sign lately. On the other hand, who am I to pass up a good sign?
At first, I thought the blooming of one of my favorite flowers was a nice way to show the promise of hope and peace that would come into my life as my circumstantial problems were resolved. Even a month ago I was like a cartoon character with wide-eyed lunacy on my face screaming “I have one nerve left and you’re on it.” My friends allowed me a little space as I worked through that stage.
Later, I thought of the lovely fragrance I was enjoying and how often fragrance is an essential part of our spiritual walk. A baby quilt I am currently working on is covered with tiny roses and set within the pattern of a cross and I recall the story that one frequently can smell the scent of roses when passing a statue or image of the Blessed Mother. The upcoming season of Advent is filled with fragrance – not only of incense in the worship service, but also in Christmas greenery and the burning of candles.
Finally, though, I thought I might be overworking the “sign” a bit (you think?), and remembered that God does have a pretty good sense of humor. Having allowed myself some four months of self-absorption in my issues, I can imagine that God might think it a little funny to make me also see the lighter, more beautiful and sensual moments in life. It’s a funny thing those lilacs. It has been cool this week and the blossoms have lasted far beyond expectancy. A good joke lasts a while and often makes you think.Today is a really good day to move on. I pulled through these last weeks without asking for a sign, but I’m thinking…….do you suppose there is even a chance for roses at Christmas?