Anybody who's operating in their capital P Purpose and busy putting their work out in the world, will tell you, daily life can feel like one of those terrible roller coasters at Six Flags.
This is going to be soooo great...Ahhhh I'm dying...When is this going to stop....Why didn't I do this ten years ago...This is too random and severe...I'm going to throw up...Gosh the view is great up here...Why doesn't everyone do this?
Last week was all Six Flags for me, but to be honest, that level of crazy has become such a normal part of my life, I'm not even looking for the view from the top anymore, sometimes that's as agonizing as the falls.
NO. I'M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING ELSE.
It's something I call calm delight, a still center, a deep, green river in the middle of me. It feels like contentment and is often accompanied by the word "Whoa," as everything around me keeps dropping and screaming and climbing and anticipating while I stand resting...astonished.
Those moments are holy and when they happen, I think, "Oh yes, Jesus, you do see me here, trying to surrender to all this. Thank you."
Here's a story that explains what I mean.
ENTER Prophecy Wines.
A few months ago, I saw this wine in my grocery store and immediately fell in love with the label. Not only is it beautiful, but the woman looks like the Firegirl, and yes, I buy wine because of the label and so does everyone else, they just don't admit it.
That's why wine companies like Prophecy hire artists like Victo Ngai, a Hong-Kong native and illustrator who lives in New York City, to design awesome labels.
I loved them so much, I emailed the company inquiring where I might buy a poster size of two of them. I just got a new office, I want to put them on my walls.
But honestly, I was pretty worn out from another week at Six Flags, so my expectations were low. Nonetheless, I fired off a little prayer too. "Hey Jesus, this is the kind of thing you do when you're showing off. Plus, the company is called Prophecy and that doesn't feel like an accident."
Then I forgot about it because who knows, something caught on fire, or someone gave me a pile of money for Intermissionary or something....just normal roller coaster stuff.
On Friday, I was lying on my couch icing a pulled psoas muscle and crying when Sam called and said,
"Hey, a poster tube came in the mail for you."
I stopped crying, bolted upright, cried in pain and said, "there's only one place sending me a poster."
Sure enough, in the tube were the two posters I asked for, with note that said, "Thanks for liking our wine!"
Whoa. Jesus. More crying.
Do you understand what I mean about calm delight now? It's the character of God, that lives in the center of us while the world is in utter freak out. Elijah knew it. He was (justifiably) freaked out, worn out and on the run, but God just kept showing up and loving him through it...read this, slowly, it's awesome.
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” I Kings 19:11-13
I'm no Elijah, but God loves me just like he loved His badass prophet. He just speaks to me through wine labels. Here's what I think he's saying:
KEEP GOING. DON'T LOSE HEART. I'VE ALREADY BEEN WHERE WE'RE GOING. I'VE SEEN IT AND WE WIN.
Maybe you're skeptical about a life of faith like I was for many years, and your cynic is saying: "Wow, all that from a wine poster? You did ask for it. So what's magic about that?"
Well, besides being free, a kind gesture, unexpected, in my mailbox and something I'm not sure companies even do anymore, people say no to me at least 50 times a week, but from Jesus I got a lovely, private, intimate little yes.
You know, Einstein said there are only two ways to live your life: As though nothing is a miracle, or everything is. I've done it both ways, and I can tell you the latter just works better.
Thank you Prophecy Wines for the encouragement you didn't know you were giving me. Guess what will be served at the next Love Dinner?