Do you ever think why we do certain things the way we do? Like why do women have to wear shirts and not men too? I was watching an older movie called The Mission with my new roommate, and after getting a glimpse of the Guarani tribe and the way the women were freely exposed in their culture, I began thinking about lots of things. There are also lots of butt-cheeks showing from both sexes. Betcha weren’t expecting me to say that word on here. I know this is quickly turning into a monologue about nudity, but I’m serious. Why do we eat three meals a day? Why do we grow grass lawns? Why do we eat bread with extra additives instead of simply making fresh bread that everyone likes better anyways? Why do we eat so much sugar? Why do we have different tastes for music or food or movies? Why is there so much plastic packaging on every little thing? Why don’t more people read books? Why have I not read this book? How have I never seen this movie or even heard of it? Why do we shake hands? Why did God invent sloths or the platypus or the mosquito? Why do we insist figuring out all our problems quickly? Why do we think there is such thing as a balanced life? Why do we expect things to go our way? Y’all I could keep going. You get it though. There are so many questions.
For the past couple of years my sister and I would walk through a hard season, day, or experience, and come out on the other end looking at each other and saying “Hindsight 2020.” We would laugh because sometimes that was the only way to cope. It became our little joke with this popular expression. Last year when deciding on if I had the bandwidth to make a calendar for 2020, I was overwhelmed with ideas and dreams about making the perfect calendar. I remember thinking, “Wow, this year didn’t go as planned. I should have had this done months ago!” I started feeling desperate. Do you know what I mean? I had a little come to Jesus moment where I really did come to Jesus. I felt a pride in me that I had to impress people. I had to really do something amazing. I remember this feeling of trying to prove myself—it’s a familiar idol of mine. And Jesus kindly reminded me. This whole repentance thing can be difficult, right? I’m so happy to say that I’ve seen myself get a little quicker, a little less stubborn, over time with the help of the Holy Spirit.
I remember a quote from Mother Teresa that encouraged me in a really dark time in my youth.
“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway. ~Mother Teresa”
Hindsight is 2020, not just this year, but with the lens of faith and seeing God’s provision looking back. I can trust Him better. His record is perfect. He will not let me down. He is making all things new. He is making all things count, even when it seems in vain. If for the Lord we labor, question, delight, a beautiful thing inside of us will grow. Faith. True faith cultivated by the Master Gardener himself who knows how to design the garden, prepare the soil, amend the soil, thin and prune and weed, protect from disease and pests, and enjoy the beautiful fruit of his labors. And we get to share in the feast being intimately connected with Him.
When I was younger, I used to look for stories with beautiful romance. I’m not talking cheap or cheesy; I mean pure and honorable and beautiful. I loved when the good friend/prince/boy would end up being the true love. I remember wishing to know somebody that would want to take the time to get to know everything about me. I wanted a real relationship. Something more, something beautiful, something this world ultimately could never fully offer me. I see hindsight is 2020 that I have always had that in Jesus. He does know me and pursues me devotedly just like I was looking for in those stories.
I join in with C.S. Lewis saying, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” And maybe I was made for another kind of relationship than this world can offer me. Maybe all these questions point us to something better and truer? Maybe meeting him in the secret places in our heart really does matter more than anything in the world. Maybe we will see beautiful manifestations of our faiths on the other side of eternity. Wouldn’t be fun if we saw the beautiful gardens of our hearts in all it’s glory? Let’s continue to tend to our secret gardens, dear ones.
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
And I will keep on choosing to believe every word, dear ones.
Okay friends, I leave you with a poem I wrote the other day. I was thinking of some more flying dreams and the Peter Pan puzzle my family and I completed over the Fourth of July weekend.
What is a kiss?
Peter Pan wanted to know,
Is it like uncurling your tongue to falling snow?
Or vacuuming on the highest speed,
Is it declaring a butterfly on fuzzy milkweed?
Delicately fluttering in light and color?
Is it something like a late night snack with mother?
Is it cinnamon sugar on toast when you expected not even butter?
Is it watching the sparkling water trail behind the boat rudder?
What are mouths for, anyways?
To taste, to speak, to whistle for all my days?
To breath, to be filled, to smile?
To sing all the while?,
To share it all with another?
To know more than love of a brother,
Mouth to mouth a desperate wish,
To fill and be filled by a single kiss,
Is it birthed from the magic of true love?
Or sparkly like a treasure trove?
Or is it more than we can muster,
A thing we crave for more than it’s luster?
PS Listen to episode here.