Author Ann Voskamp is really growing on me. I didn’t realize until a few years ago that she is not only a fluent, poetic writer of faith but that she is also a photojournalist; so, her writing is very visually oriented – love it. I’ve started to read her devotional One Thousand Gifts, and boy is it convicting, encouraging, and heartening. Though each devotion brings a slightly different message, Voskamp always suggests that a spirit of thankfulness (for the “good” and the “bad”) is how we really bring ourselves to a spirit of satisfaction and joy. Isn’t satisfaction with life what we’re all longing for?
This past year has been a whirlwind of moves and trying to find my role. Last year, I lived in Southern California with my mom’s parents. Though such a challenging, yet gratifying year, there wasn’t enough joy to motivate me to stay. Yes, I’m thankful I moved back, but I sure see what my dad meant when he warned me that life was pretty good in Cali. Newsong church in Santa Ana brought about so many wonderful friends and a true community that cared for my relationship with Jesus more than anything else.
God blessed me with a family who cares for these same values, but it’s easy to let sin rule emotions, isn't it? I have three incredible younger siblings who double as my best friends: two in college and one just two years younger than me – all young adults. You can imagine the dynamics. Sometimes, it’s bliss. Other times, it’s full of fire. Grace is the name of the game. Readers with sibs – can you relate?
All this to say, Voskamp’s devotional (and ultimately God’s Word that births these messages) calls me to look at my current situation and thank our Father. Voskamp suggests, “What if I woke to now and refused to hurry because I didn’t want to refuse God? What if I didn’t discount this moment but counted it for what it is – God here?”
The verse that led to her conclusion is Psalm 102:25-28, “…the heavens are the work of your hands…Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end. The children of your servants will live in your presence…”
Often, I try to control time. – What? How selfish and idiotic, Meg. – It is. If the current situation is not what I enjoy or is not leading to my fleeting heart’s desires, I try to distract myself or get through it as quickly as possible. Yet (to quote another inspiration, singer Margot Osborne), “What if there is wonder on the way? All these years in darkness were only just a way to keep me safe[…] but safe ain’t worth the price when trust demands a fall[.] So I’ll jump [,] I’ll risk[,] I’ll feel[,] I’ll fall.”
I want to jump, risk, and fall, if it means I get to experience the fullness of Jesus. Lord, help me – help each of us – to risk.