A few days ago my friend Stacey shared “It’s taken 11 months, but I’m putting together that rejoicing is about a heavenly perspective. Not an in-the-midst perspective.”
Her word for 2011 is “Rejoicing” and after spending eleven months with my one word I immediately understood because I had come to a similar conclusion with mine a few weeks ago.
Then the next day at church our campus pastor spoke on heaven. He made the point that if heaven is our focus then we’ll be okay if things don’t turn out like we think they should here in this life.
Yet knowing in your head that your focus should not be on discouraging circumstances is often times easier than knowing it in your heart. Easier than feeling it.
Learning to live Eucharisteo is the same. Learning to focus on the world beyond circumstances happening in front of you. Seeking gifts of His grace even when there seems to be nothing for which to be thankful. Knowing in spite of feeling. Trusting although darkness threatens.
So we bend knee as hearts look up. Reminding our spirits to hold the gifts loosely returning them in thanks to Creator. Knowing He made us to feel deeply though truth reigns over. Walking this liminal space not quite of heaven no longer belonging to earth prone to stumble for we are only human. Fallen. Broken. As a child falls, knees bloodied, returning to stand once again we count and remember Grace, all the graces, teaching our hearts over once again to be still. To give ourselves grace. To rest in His presence. To know He gives us enough for this day. Learning with our heart that He is enough. Leaning into truth in spite of what circumstances may whisper.
Vision looking upward while knees posture in worship. Perspective that renders hearts to joy.
God chose my one word for 2011. Eucharisteo He speaks as I read the words of Ann Voskamp. “Learn this. Discipline yourself He tells me.” Seek. List. Count.
So I obeyed. Having no idea how difficult it would prove.
Sometimes the best decision you can make, the one you know without a doubt God has lead you to, can also bring the most pain, the most discomfort.
Why do we think that the decisions God leads us to will be easy? Why do we think they will be pain free?
And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this is remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19 NASB)
As Christ shared a last meal with his disciples He knew what awaited Him. For He was fully God so thus all knowing. He knew this was the path God the Father had lead Him to. To be Emmanuel? Was this not why He became fully man? To be the final sacrifice?
Yet it brought unimaginable hurt and pain. Pain I will never know.
I still have much to learn. I stumble my way through the days. Often letting frustrations of life shift my focus back to this murky haze of earth instead of the gifts from above. My patience becomes short with those I love and I ruffle under the expectations people place on me. I often fail.
Yet there is grace.
So as 2011 comes to a close I look back over a year of Eucharisteo. A year of giving thanks. Of counting and listing and seeking gifts of grace no matter how small.
Yes. If not for grace.
A year of frustrations and hurts, yet still I count it as the best year. I choose to give thanks for the good things, the frustrations and even the hurts because in choosing to give thanks I choose joy. And with the joy comes trusting. And the trusting brings knowledge that each day there is enough. That He gives us enough for each day.