Have you ever made a major life decision purely because of a bible verse? You have no reason to do such a thing, no logical basis for the choice you made, but you did it anyway because the bible verse told you so?
I had such moments. Small and big moments that shaped the life I am living right now. But the biggest one of all is the move I made from Tennessee to Maryland.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, the flames will not consume you. –Isaiah 43:2
This one verse made me hop on my sister’s van during her visit to my parents and move with her to the land I’ve never desired to live in. When I encountered Psalm 119:15 this morning where it goes “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path”, I was immediately reminded of my sudden and drastic move to Maryland. In a way, my biggest move would have been my move to the US from Korea, or to Hawaii, but those were desired, planned, and acted out and my own effort was half the part. But the move to Maryland literally evoked me overnight. It was a giant leap of faith.
I wake up, open my bible, with a delightful heart that awaits the command from the Lord. What would God have me to do today and what wonderful thing does He have planned for me? It’s like a little game I play each day. My toddler asks “Mommy, what are we going to do today? Who are we going to play with?” with such anticipation that I feel I must not disappoint her. Is this what God feels? When I ask him “God, what do you have in mind today? What are we doing together on this glorious day?”, I am pretty sure He takes a great pleasure in revealing the wonderful plans He has for me that day.
It’s a quiet morning. I read an article from New York Times written after Toni Morrison’s passing from this world to the next. She woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning to write while her young children were asleep. I know another famous author that did exactly that: J.K. Rowling. I always believe that those are grand ideas. But they are exactly that for me. A grand idea that I have a hard time internalizing. When my child was an infant, by four o’clock in the morning, I had already been up a few times breast feeding her or putting her back to sleep. When she was a little bigger and when I finally regained my sleep schedule, I tried waking up at five to write but then my daughter would instinctively feel my absence and wake up as well. So in the end, I gave up trying the impossible and decided to enjoy what life was offering: some extra sleep into the morning.
But now my child sleeps through the night whether I am in her bed or not. I have these extra time I could devote to something that I love to do. Writing is no more the first thing I do in the morning, nor practicing my yoga as I have done previously for almost a decade. Now I go straight to God’s book to complete my morning devotion. His word sheds light on certain paths of my past that I must reflect on. Sometimes, He sheds light on certain future events that will unfold. And just as Mary kept all those wonderful things she has seen after the birth of Jesus, only to reflect them in her heart, I try my best to do the same. I am practicing the patience of Mary. A story appears on some mornings. Most mornings, I end up with no words of my own and leave my computer screen completely blank. Instead, I am filled with the Words of God that I have just read, sensing the overflowing power of God’s love and care surrounding my existence. I move through the day with no concern for the future. How liberating. How freeing. It’s a perfect place to write. But if no words come, I don’t force it.
I went away to a cabin for a few days with my extended family. There, I met a single lady that takes care of one hundred acre land with three houses, thirty-something cows and a pool. And just as those cows that visit the field across the guest house we stayed in exactly at 4 in the afternoon, her daily routine is all the same day by day. She moves through with such expert mastery. The property was perfectly kept and the lady of the property appeared perfectly happy doing what she does. I was impressed by the life that she created for herself. On my last day, she handed me her business card. There, I discovered that she is a writer, a historian kind to be exact. Of course, she is. I never read any of her writings, but to me, she was a perfect example of a writer. She appeared to hover above all just as the Shenandoah mountain ridge I’ve been admiring for a few days. Her presence was a symbol of liberation and freedom.
Yet another morning opens up before my eyes. Under the cloudy sky, I think about what sort of day will unfold unto us. To be quiet honest, I am a little relieved that God did not command me to cross the river to the unknown. Not today. I have come to love my mundane, uneventful life, seemingly unchanging from previous day to the next. I do not know how long this quiet life will continue but all I could do is to be fully awake in the days of my life, loving and simply living.