Time to Step Up

And now a poem…

Time to Step Up

All my life I have been politely
moving aside for other people.
When I was young I moved aside
for older people with more experience.
As I got older I moved aside for younger
people to GIVE them experience.
And now I’m 62 and I don’t have time
to move aside for other people anymore.
There are things I need to do.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Always in Your Right Place

“Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

There have been times in my life when I’ve had to make choices between this thing and another thing – between this path or that one – and I sometimes agonized about these choices. And then one day it came to me: Wherever I go,  whatever I do – Love, God, is there. I’m never outside of Love’s presence or direction. I’m always in my right place.

Right place

Lifted Up by the Waves of Change

“…progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfill.” – Mary Baker Eddy

 ***

I kind of surprised myself yesterday. A friend was sharing some of the challenges he’s dealing with in his life right now – telling me about some really absurd glitches in our legal system that seem to have wreaked havoc on his financial situation. And my first reaction was to get angry at the injustice, inequity, and unfairness of it all. But – and this is the part that surprised me – as he told me about his circumstances – low on funds, looking for steady income, his livelihood depending more and more on his part-time gigs as a musician, rather than on a typical “day job” – I found myself actually starting to feel excited for him.

I recognized that he’s in that incredible place of change and growth, possibility and opportunity, that have marked the last year for me – and I felt really happy for him. I know. That must sound weird, eh? But I just knew, as I listened to him, that he has been brought to the brink of something really amazing.  He is at the cusp of change.

***

It’s been a year now since I encountered my own “cusp of change,” and it has been one of the most amazing years of my life.

Twelve months ago my life appeared to be in crisis. The underpinnings for my financial security were on the brink of being pulled out, my twenty-year career was coming to an end, and I was looking at unfairness and inequity that left me reeling, emotionally.  When the boat finally capsized, figuratively, I found myself washed up on an unfamiliar shore, stripped of financial security and purpose, and with no clear solution to the challenges of my situation. I really had no choice but to start over and rebuild from the bottom up.

And it was awesome!

For the first time in years I didn’t have to try to fit my life into a rigid schedule and a tight structure.  My life was my own to create as I felt led. Creativity danced up to the front of the line, and concerns about conformity, pleasing others, and money retreated to the rear.  Opportunities that required my skills and talents as a writer presented themselves; photography became a big part of my life; and a position at a local alternative high school opened up for me.

And I had a sort of epiphany: I never want to be paid so much money that I no longer own my own “soul.”  I want enough to live and be comfortable and to share with others – but I don’t want so much that I become dependent on it, and feel the need to give up my own sense of right and wrong to keep getting it. I never, again, want to feel beholden to a company or business or system, for my security.

The inequity and unfairness that my friend is experiencing right now, and that I experienced a year ago under somewhat different circumstances, are actually a blessing, I think.  “Trials are proofs of God’s care,” Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and later she writes, “The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares.”

Love, God, has always been with me – through the good stuff and the “bad” – leading and guiding me, and opening up new doors ahead of me, as other doors have closed behind me. In the last year I’ve come to recognize that Love will always provide for me and mine, and that I never need to fear what the future holds; It holds nothing but good – because even the “bad” is transformed into something good when we put Love at the helm.

Things are starting to settle in my life now. The wave of change has carried me to a place where I have the opportunity to express God more fully and completely than I could from my former position in life.  There is freedom here, and great joy. I kind of miss the wild, heady exhilaration of the wave of change that brought me here. But I’m going to enjoy all that I’ve gained from the wave, and the place where it’s brought me.  I expect other waves are waiting for me in the future, and I look forward to them.

___

“God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis.” – Mary Baker Eddy

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God…” – Romans 8: 28

Or, to paraphrase: We know that all things work together for good to them that love Love.