Saturday, December 23, 2006

Mystery and Mastery

A question is mulling around in my mind. It is a question of movement and waiting—of mystery and mastery. I ponder; can there be movement in waiting? A sigh. A breath. A tear. The rise and fall of the chest. The twinkle in an eye. For I believe waiting does not mean ceasing to live. It is, in my reality, living more deeply and intentionally.

“Wait here,” a mother says to her child. The child can either hold his breath and try to remain perfectly still, living in fear. Or he can begin to examine the world around him--the ant on the ground, a bee tasting sweet nectar or the wind rustling through the trees. In this waiting, this examination of mystery, is he not living more fully and mastering life?

Waiting for the birth of a child, the coming of a Savior, the easing of a pain. Waiting does not mean becoming frozen or comatose. It can be just the opposite. A heightening of awareness. Feeling the very structure of your being—the beams and concrete of your soul; the bare branches of your nakedness; the child inside the mother’s womb.

This living into the mystery is the mastery of life. It is appreciating each moment instead of worrying or analyzing what it will mean later, or like the compliant child, waiting and holding his breath until the very life goes out of him.

So breathe, feel your heart, listen to the rhythm of the earth. The axis has shifted slightly and the light will grow stronger day by day. Remember that without the dark of night, a star cannot shine. So wait. Wait intentionally; not for mastery but for the sake of mystery and all it has to offer.

We cannot see the wind except when it blows through the trees. From where does the rain begin? Was the earth created in seven 24-hour days or billions of years? Mystery. We can move toward mastery, but it is in the movement that life happens. It is the dash on our tombstone—what happens between the day we burst forth from the womb and our final earthly breath. It is movement as subtle as listening to your own heart beat or watching an ant crawl on the ground. And, it is movement as great as facing your deepest fears or having the courage to wait patiently in the darkness.

photo by bill hughlett


Anonymous said...


Having moved from your last entry to this one, I am delighted to find such beautiful words and metaphors for the time of waiting and unknowing. I will cherish your words as I continue my own waiting for my dream to burst forth. Yes, this is a time of much heightened awareness. God is at work and much can be enjoyed each moment when we seek to be in tune with the Divine....


Kayce aka lucy said...

cheryl--i love that we can wait together, even from a distance.