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The Posture of Openness

...I was beginning to live from a place of intention and presence. As I moved through the months that followed, I gave myself permission to stop uncertainties from determining how I felt. How I behaved. How I lived. I was leaning into the signs and wonders all around. - The Land of Less (pg. 18-19)


I have cozied up to fear and worry for as long as I can remember. Bearing these badges of honour made me a more reliable and responsible human being. Or so it seemed. It would keep me and all the things I wanted to control in check.

I truly believed on some level that my worry helped to keep things together. Helped me to stay vigilant. Ready for whatever might come. As much as I wanted peace and rest in my world, I was convinced I would not be able to tap into them until the world around me remained stable. I was controlled by circumstances.

It was a strange dance I did with myself in this regard. Desperately wanting to feel light and free but not at the cost of loosening the tight grip I had on everything. Wishing for peace and rest but feeling tossed and battered by the stormy waves of circumstance.

As the years passed the fatigue set in. I was burned out on worrying.

I was beginning to see that my fretting was in vain. When I was paying attention I could see that often situations would either work out or some sort of a resolution would arise in the moment of crisis. The worry wasn’t helping me. Wasn’t saving me. Wasn’t giving me the upperhand. And the energy I burned in the process was counterproductive.

I came to see that circumstances were never in my control no matter how hard I worked to contain them. And in the rare moments that I would stop long enough to breathe I would see how win, lose or draw there was always something beautiful that would emerge from the ashes if I could let go of my expectations.

I’d often ask God to reveal to me how I could let go of the worry. My grip was so tight that I couldn’t fathom how to release it. It seemed impossible to operate in a different way. There is an insipid power in the familiar. A strange comfort to what I know, even when it’s hurting me.

But God is so kind. When He says “ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find...” (Matthew 7:7) He means it. But I must be brave enough to wait for it. Be wise enough to know it might come in a way I didn’t anticipate.

In answer to my request, He gave me an impression. I could see it clear as day: I was in an open field, breeze blowing, arms stretched out to my sides, head tilted back and the center of my chest opened up like a deep well. And from that deep crevasse shone the brightest burst of light illuminating the whole field. God revealed to me that everything about this image represented the posture of openness. Weightlessness, surrender, intention, presence, freedom, light. It was all there because I stood in the posture of openness.

This posture allowed Him to move and flow easily in me and around me. In my heart, in my mind and in my circumstances.

It allowed myself to shed the heaviness of protecting and controlling. My arms were lighter when they were open at my side. My head was clearer when it was looking up and out to what was in front of me in the present moment. And my heart could be free to do what it was created to. To overflow the love and light that God was always pouring into me.

Openness is a gateway. Open up the gate and allow things to come and go with ease.

The small and inconspicuous entries and exits to this gate will feel natural. Welcome. You will see how necessary it is to remain open as new seasons begin and end. To clear space and make room for something new.

There will also be times when opening the gate will feel more like a floodgate. A rushing. An influx of blessings and newness or an exodus as the pressure is released of the things that have run their course. The things that are now freed up to leave.

After receiving this vision I would often stop when I would feel the heaviness of worry creep in and picture myself back in that field in my posture of openness.

Hang out there for a bit.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Focus on the light that invites in the Way the Truth and the Life (John 14:6).

It was freeing to be in this place. To know that my only job in the moment was to open up and make space to invite God to move.

In this posture of openness there was a great sense of surrender. I couldn’t remain open if I was being tossed around by the uncertainty of circumstances. I couldn’t hold tight to controlling if my hands were outstretched at my side. I had to resume this posture and trust that God was in control as I relinquished my own.

Something you can be certain of in this life is uncertainty.

You might have the best laid plans and an iron will to hold tight and control as much as you can, but none of us are immune to the uncertainty of circumstances.

In this past year I would guess that most of us have felt the pangs of uncertainty to a new degree. Living in the throes of a pandemic was unknown territory for all of us. The powers that be did their best to implement strategies and policies that would give us something slightly resembling certainty to focus on, but at the end of the day none of us knew where this pandemic was going.

We’ve been forced into isolation. Our human capacity has been stretched in ways most of us have never felt before. Most of us will not emerge from this pandemic unscathed by what we’ve seen and heard and lived.

We are human. So many of the ways we know how to function as humans have been stripped of us this past year.

And so what do we do in these uncertainties? Do we put life on hold waiting for this pandemic to end and things to go back to normal? This isn’t living. But life hasn’t stopped. My time on this earth doesn’t pause as I wait for the things I desire.

Should I pause as I wait for a sense of certainty to return? Time keeps ticking and my heart keeps beating. I am alive. I am here, just as God has ordained. Even during all this uncertainty.

Whether we’re talking a pandemic or simply the limits of living the human existence, uncertainty is inevitable. Even in the midst of this pressure cooker of the unknown I believe it is still possible to tap into living with intention. Living in the here and now.

As I move through the months and years that follow, I want to give myself permission to stop uncertainties from determining how I feel. How I behave. How I live.

I want to lean into the signs and wonders all around. Because they are always there. I just need to look for them.

They are as eternally present as uncertainty.

If I stay open to these hidden wonders they will reveal themselves.

As I fling wide my arms, lift up my head and open up my heart to living and letting go I will begin to live. Right here and right now.

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