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Saturday, October 18, 2014

When You're Gulping Air till You Crash at Night

A large grasshopper hitched a ride to the high school on the hood of my van this morning. The hair brushing, breakfast eating, shoes-in-hand passenger noticed the hitcher at the stop light, between bites.

"Look at his feet!" I exclaimed because I've never seen a grasshopper this up close. He wore red shoes on long feet that flexed a slow peel off the hood and then rolled back down and stuck. One step taken with the hind right foot. Now the hind left, and it was a toe to heel flex and peel, lift and stick it down, heel to toe. Deliberate, slow, elegant.

The traffic light turned and grasshopper faced the wind, antennae spread wide, and feet suctioned immovable on the hood. And just like that he walked from home to the high school.

Shoes on her feet, the girl with fresh brushed hair walked up the steps to the school and I pulled out of the flow of cars because I had a grasshopper to drop off. I parked, and he turned to stare through the windshield right at me. He did! His eyes were red as his feet. We looked at each other a moment  before I opened the van door, climbed down from the driver's seat, and rounded the hood with the swagger of an officer about to issue a hitchhiking violation.

"Ok, this is where you get off." The grasshopper accepted my finger, and I placed him in the grass amazed that he had made it this far.

"Well," I reasoned to myself, "it's because of those feet."

"Exactly." The Lord must have been quiet in the backseat, and then moved up front to take the passenger seat while I lifted the hitcher off the hood.

I thought in silence about His response. Thought about feet. And tenacity. And walking slow and deliberate on feet that cling to what they're standing on. Sure-footed and sure of the destination until one leg of the journey ends and you are not where you thought you'd be. And somehow where you thought you'd be seems farther away than ever, but, gee, "I sure got here fast! How'd that happen?"

"Exactly," He reads my thoughts.

Red Running Shoes

That's where our conversation left off, yesterday. And where it's picking up again, today. Those sticky, flexing feet have me thinking about what I cling to. What I'm standing on and refusing to be blown off of even when the wind is forty-five miles an hour in my face. Forty-five miles an hour, antennae-splitting speed, and he seemed to enjoy it!

I know what I cling to for life. No matter what speed life flies at me. It's been tested at Autobahn speeds, and it's simply faith. Faith. And hope. And when there's wreckage, somehow I become even more alive just all tenacity to faith. It's because faith is becoming to me more of what it really is. It really is substance that I can cling to just as surely as that grasshopper clung to the hood of my van.

Faith is real when the rubber meets the road; and faith never crashes though life may screech metal on metal.

I think the grasshopper had some storm-chaser in his blood, and I relate. Someday I would enjoy riding shotgun in a rigged truck chasing an F5 tornado. It's my wild side. I doubt I'll ever be chasing tornadoes, but I cling to faith when life blows like one. So I track down faith.

I'm a faith-tracker, and storms just make it seem more urgent to take hold of faith and cling to it. It's real and substantial and can be held. It's what I read this morning, "I have set the Lord always before me...I shall not be moved" (Psalm 16:8).

I cling to the Lord with sticky feet. He is the Author and Finisher of my faith, and I'm finding rest in this. Rest in faith, and, "Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope," the Psalm continues. It's true.

Stick to faith, and rest in hope.

I'm practicing. Daily. Hourly. I track down reasons that substantiate hope, and find that I can just rest in hope. I track down faith and become more aware of it. Of Him, the faithful One. And truly, living by faith is restful. It makes for gentleness, gladness, and peace. It changes the pace of life, inward and outward. It redeems time.

"You are showing me the path of life," I follow the verses in Psalm Sixteen. I'm resting in hope, and I feel it. I feel the restfulness.

"My yoke is easy and My burden is light," I hear the faithful One.

"I feel it, Lord." And I do. "I have more time, somehow." And I do.

I suppose I'm becoming less busy working to achieve what I hope for, and more occupied with just believing. I'm not burning rubber and skidding on faith in pursuit of hopes, and gulping the air that blasts through rolled down windows till I crash at night. I'm just breathing easy. It hasn't come easy, but through practice. I have practiced.

I didn't know I was practicing a new way of moving through life. I just knew I needed belief and trust. Needed faith that hope can depend upon; faith that doesn't dangle and swing mid-air and light as air, but that is sure and secured by the very nature of the One who is faithful. And I needed it like I needed the next breath if I was to take another sane breath in this life. And when I saw that grasshopper walk like he did right in front of my eyes, I knew it when I saw it.

Red Feet
I woke this morning a bit tangled up in sheets cast askew by dreams that tangled me up into the shape of a pretzel. So much for elegance. I'm still processing some things in the shadows.

I turned open the wood slatted blinds, because light chases shadows away. And there it was. Long shadow, cast down. Just cast on the ground, on the fence, on the neighbor's roof top. Cast down because of light.

"Oh," I just breathed.

"Mm-hmm," He breathed just behind me.

"And come high noon there will be no shadows at all." Because that's how it works with light. It casts shadows down and erases them. I'm going to watch it happen today.

"Cast all your cares on Me, for I care for you;" His morning tone embraced me.

"Graceful as a grasshopper," comes to mind. Silly thought left over from yesterday, but catchy. Well, it is for the likes of me. But I'm good with deliberate and slow. I'm okay with one day at a time. One step at a time. I'm the one who was chided playfully by her grandfather for how many times I wrote, "I can hardly wait for..." in the letters I sent him when I was a child.

But that was before I bonded with a grasshopper.

written by: Carolyn~Elizabeth

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