Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"to have faith is to have wings"

In sitting down tonight to spend some much needed time with the Lord, my mind strayed (big surprise there...) to thinking about how much I enjoyed reading Peter Pan a few years ago (haha so random, I know), and how surely there are some good quotes I did not take the time to jot down from that story. Indeed, I went back and found many I loved, and some surprisingly illustrated strong spiritual themes for me. (God probably did that because He was determined to get my attention regardless of how many times I got distracted ;)

"The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings." - J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan

After reading this I realized what a truth this is, especially in our relationships with the Lord. I discovered one thing I love about the play/book Peter Pan is the childlike simplicity and beauty of it all. God calls us to childlike faith. Perhaps a reason I like it all so much is how I see the reckless abandon of a child to adventure portrayed, and somehow I connect it with how I relate with Jesus. Anyway, regardless of if that observation makes sense or if I just sound like a lunatic, this quote sparked in my mind some thoughts about life lately.

This quote made me think of Isaiah 40, where the Lord says, "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Is. 40:29-31)

Faith can be such a difficult thing to grasp, to have. "To have faith is to have wings." This passage clearly states that the Lord carries and supports those who surrender all to Him, who trust everything over to His doing...they will soar, He says, on wings like eagles. I get a picture of effortless flying. When your flying I'm sure you get a better overall picture of your surroundings, and definitely a better perspective. Perhaps that could mean when you're trusting in Jesus, letting him mount you on wings like eagles, you gain a better perspective of life, of trials, challenges, and circumstances. Lately I have been faced with some circumstances where I was uncertain of the outcome, and continually I had to work at "taking every thought captive" and making it obedient to Christ. When I reminded myself that God is in control and He is going to arrange everything according to His plan, my mind was put at rest and my heart was eased of anxiety and stress. It's not easy to let go of what I want of course, but when I do I can honestly say those are the times when I can most acutely sense God's presence actively working. I let go of my preconceived notions and the things that follow I know are most assuredly of God's plan for me. That is such a reassuring feeling, one that floods me with thankfulness, that He is working things out according to what He desires.

That reckless abandon, that faith birds have that when they jump they will catch the wind and fly...it's scary, but truly freeing I'm sure. I've discovered lately that practicing faith and trust brings you to a place where God reveals so much of His character, provision, and love. It's so cool! I've been really in awe of how God works things out, how He provides. He wants us to "put our hope" in Him so that in turn He can reveal to us the bigger picture, the perspective that will adjust our hearts and minds to seeing through eternal eyes and learning more of Him. "They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Surrender, discipline, and commitment to trusting the Lord...can be difficult, but sure sounds worth it to me.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

the extensive reading of books

Well, maybe not extensive... 
Two books down, and...many more to go...but I'm working on it!
(Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis & Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen)

Sense & Sensibility has always been a favorite of mine because the parallels I find in the close relationship of Marianne and Elinor, closely reflect me and my sister, Kathryn. I usually enjoy Austen's books, however for some reason it took me several years of picking up this novel again and again to finally finish it. I attribute that to the fact that several movie versions of this story have established themselves among my list of film favorites, and therefore in reading the book my imagination was often inhibited by pre-existing faces and places. Upon reaching the final few chapters of the book, however, I found myself as usual, enraptured in Austen's depiction of the story resolution. Alas, in the end I found my love of it more affirmed than ever, and my belief that the book is always better than the movie, proven. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes throughout:

"You are in a melancholy humour, and fancy that any one unlike yourself must be happy. But remember that the pain of parting from friends will be felt by every body at times, whatever be their education or state. Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience -- or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope." ~ Mrs. Dashwood to Edward 

"When the weather is settled, and I have recovered my strength,' said she, 'we will take long walks together every day. We will walk to the farm at the edge of the down, and see how the children go on; we will walk to Sir John's new plantations at Barton Cross, and the Abbeyland; and we will often go to the old ruins of the Priory, and try to trace its foundations as far as we are told they once reached. I know we shall be happy. I know the summer will pass happily away. I mean never to be later in rising than six, and from that time till dinner I shall divide every moment between music and reading. I have formed my plan, and am determined to enter on a course of serious study. Our own library is too well known to me, to be resorted to for anything beyond mere amusement. But there are many works well worth reading at the Park; and there are others fo more modern production, which I know I can borrow from Colonel Brandon. By reading only six hours a day, I shall gain in the course of a twelvemonth a great deal of instruction which I now feel myself to want." ~ Marianne to Elinor, following her recovery from illness and resolution on her lessons learned in love.

“They were brought together by mutual affection, with the warmest approbation of their real friends; their intimate knowledge of each other seemed to make their happiness certain, and they only wanted something to live upon.” ~ Austen, speaking about Edward and Elinor

“A three weeks’ residence at Delaford, where, in his evening hours at least, he had little to do but to calculate the disproportion between thirty-six and seventeen…” ~ Austen, speaking of Colonel Brandon who is in-love with Marianne…I love Austen’s sense of humor! 

“Their resemblance in good principles, and good sense, in disposition and manner of thinking, would probably have been sufficient to unite them in friendship, without any other attraction; but their being in love with two sisters, and two sisters fond of each other, made that mutual regard inevitable and immediate…” ~ talking of Edward and the Colonel’s quickly formed friendship. I love this! I hope Kathryn and I can say this about us someday. 

Next book, Wuthering Heights!