Life’s Unexpected Treasures

There’s quite the crowd at the newly purchased finch feeder this morning. The goldfinch have returned! However, along with them, I seem to have attracted a few other species of birds that I wasn’t expecting. I find myself disappointed, as I only wanted to see the beautiful yellow cloud gathered to the feast. Such is life, isn’t it? We set things up expecting one result and suddenly it changes.

I can’t help but reflect on the past few years and how, even if I tried, I wouldn’t have pictured things as they are today. The places I thought I’d be and the people I thought would be here, are completely different. Life seemed to be heading down one road, then suddenly there was a detour and we had to change course.

These past few years have seen their share of loss – people, positions, and relationships. The finality can shake you to the core and beg you to ask “where do I go from here?” For me, it’s been a feeble attempt at acceptance and some days I find myself simply stumbling through the day. Doing the next best thing that I can. It seems to be the most natural thing my body can do. Or, is it the practice of trying to allow the Holy Spirit to lead the way. I find myself stuck between being lost in the sadness and finding that spiritual lifeline that will pull me out of this dark place.

Some days I allow the disappointment and hurt to consume me. I know that by allowing it in, I crowd my heart so much that the lessons God has in store cannot enter, yet, I allow it just the same. How does one push past those life changing events, those detours? What allows some of us to press forward and others to get stuck? I believe it is finding our truth.

I recently read an article about yoga and meditation, a practice that disciplines the body and mind to still itself of its natural restlessness. By quieting ourselves and focusing inward we acknowledge the feeling or emotion that we are experiencing and accept them as real, using the inward power of our oneness with a greater spirit to move past them. Buddha taught that it was the denial of this truth that is the cause of all suffering; when you cling to your desire for the positives in life and cannot accept the negative events that occur. In Christianity, the bible teaches us to “Be still and know that I am God.”  Truth.

This pain, loss, disappointment is giving us an opportunity to experience something we never have before. Now, how will we choose to respond? We cannot truly experience the positive unless we’ve felt the negative, and having been given this experience, we can use it to bring hope, wisdom, and encouragement to others. Pain can guide us to our truth.

Being stuck in this place of suffering takes up so much energy. Feelings are real, they’re there for a reason. I’m learning that we need to experience the feeling and some things just take time to heal. We can gain perspective with time and space and when the painful feeling creeps up, acknowledge it and surrender it to God’s control.

The feeder is bustling with activity. All the different species of finches are coming to the feast. Some are more beautiful than others. Some more aggressive. Others are straggly and ordinary. Each sings its own song. All are fed by God. If I’m to soar to greater heights, I must be still and know that God is leading the way.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 5:3-4

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