Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Wake Up

Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


There is a book sitting on a shelf in my office called The Awakened Heart.  While the book itself is kind of a hard read (I’ve started and stopped it on several occasions), the title suggests something that stirs me deeply.  I believe it is so easy to get into a rut in life, following the well worn path of the previous day, the previous week, the previous year.  In many ways it makes life easier.  The habitual tending to well-known events creates patterns of behavior that require little thought and thus less effort than new endeavors.  It saves energy.  It frees us up for the extra stuff we really enjoy.  Yet what tends to happen is that we never get around to enjoying life with our extra energy—we simply spend it doing another something mindless:  another video game, another Facebook perusal, another Grey’s Anatomy, another hour spent without really connecting with, adventuring in, or enjoying the life we were given as gift.  Our greatest gift seems to become drudgery.  Ho Hum.


But there really is something more.  Last night during worship I encouraged each person to consider the faith that God has in each of us at the moment of our creation.  Each one of us is a unique expression of the Father’s heart.  How it must delight Him to see the creative handiwork He intentionally crafts in our mama’s bellies come to life at our birth.  I can imagine His joy radiating from Heaven’s vantage point as He closely follows each part of our developing self.  And when those funny little quirks, talents, and special abilities present themselves, I can just see Him elbowing Jesus and commenting, “See that?  I put that there.”  What faith He expresses in humanity when He gives us life, each person delivered to the world bundled with a destiny and purpose that only she or he can fulfill.  And our sweet and precious Creator risks it all in releasing us to our own choices, with no predetermined law that says we must become what He intended, only a simple invitation to fulfill the life He has given to us by entering into His life filling the earth.


And so I say to every heart that hears me, “Wake up!”  Life is too short to let it pass by in familiar oblivion.  Wake up!  This past week my family got a wake up call when our dear neighbor passed away on Monday.  Our boys called him Mr. Lonnie.  What spoke to me most about Lonnie was the way he lived a woken up life.  It was so sweet a couple of years ago to see the kayak he bought for his wife.  Together they would pull it out when it was warm and explore the different creeks and rivers in our area.  Last year he took her to Hawaii.  Just last fall they traveled to New England, just the two of them.  Enjoying the beauty of a different part of the country as a way to get away and just be together.  I love the boldness such excursions.  When the economy would dictate prudence and thrift, they enjoyed each other and invested in what matters most for relationships, each other.  It has truly been a witness to Tim and I.  When it was warm outside and our family would play in the front yard and drive-way, Mr. Lonnie would always come over and chat when he went to retrieve his mail.  He and his wife Linda would always share themselves with us with such generosity.  He was interested to hear what the boys had to say, which was really important stuff coming from a five and three year old.  He would patiently listen, taking an interest in their stories, and would then invite them into his own life, showing them the vegetables growing in his garden, letting them help water his plants, allowing them room to run in his front yard.  Lonnie had a way of connecting people to each other, connecting neighbors to neighbors, building a sense of community for all of us as he would share news from along the street.  It’s hard for our family with three children and two full time jobs to really be neighborly and connect.  He made it easy.  His welcome smile and easy going warmth helped us to look beyond the boundary lines of our own yard.  It seems now that his faith, again, easy going and welcome, is helping us look beyond the boundary lines of earth and into the sweet embrace of heaven.  I hate that he’s gone.  I hate it for Linda.  But I know that he is home with the Lord, whom he loved very much.  And it reminds me that someday when I die on this earth I will be glad to go home too.


In the meantime I am here.  And I don’t want to waste a minute of it.  Just like Lonnie I want to be mindful of the time I spend living.  I want to go on adventures with my sweetheart; I want to sing silly songs at the top of my lungs with my children; I want to laugh with abandon, surrounded by students; I want to pray, and encourage, and rejoice.  I want my heart to be awakened to God’s invitation of joy that lives in each moment.  I want to receive the gifts that life has to offer, even when they may be wrapped in difficulty, challenge, and heartache.  I want to be the kind of person that welcomes others into God’s life alive all around us, to laugh, to play, to sing, to dance.  I want to wake up.  I don’t want to be oblivious to the gift of life, within and around me. 


It’s hard to be reminded that life is short.  But here we are at the beginning of another year, a chance for a new beginning, a fresh start.  Let’s give ourselves the gift of life that is really life.  Let’s wake up.  Let’s enter into God’s life that is alive all around us.  Let’s make Him grin as we enjoy the sweet gifts of another day. 


This is me trusting,





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Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry




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