Good Morning Church! What Have You Been Doing For The Last Five Years?

Odd question isn’t it?

It was a question I had presented to me a few months ago at the Kilgore Station Bluegrass Festival I was honored to host again this year.

Every year we begin the show with the pledge of allegiance lead by our local VFW post 2120.

I try to spend some time talking with the Veterans every year and this year was no exception.

At one point I was approached by a gentleman that I had never met — he shook my hand and after the usual exchange of our names he said, “Tell me what you’ve been up to for the last five years.”

I was got so off guard by the question that I forgot his name and what I actually said but it made me think, “What have I been up to for the last five year?”

Honestly as soon as he asked the question my mind recalled the date five years ago 2012 and I immediately went into my emotionally protective state — wanting to place the year back into the recesses of my mind and heart to meditate on later.
2012 was a bit of a lost year for my family — my husband and I both lost jobs — a classmate and teammate of our son’s was killed in a tragic car accident. Then in May my husband’s father died from complications after a surgery to repair a broken leg and my dad died suddenly two weeks later from a brain hemorrhage.

But as I contemplated the entirety of the question I wondered, “What have I been up to for the last five years?”

I instantly thought about the job I had for about a year and a half that I loved.
It had been a dream job — just in the wrong city.

I thought about how much I loved my husband and how our children had grown up in the last five years — they were all adults now.

I thought about how much weight I still wanted to lose that I had not lost in the last five years! (I am a girl it is just what we do!)

  • I reflected on the things I had written.
  • The ministry work I have fallen in love with that now consumes me. (Working with the vast Coptic Christian Community in Nashville TN.)
  • All of the jobs I had loved and those jobs I was thankful to have but I LOATHED over the past five years (and there were a couple that I truly hated! Selling cars and harassing customers at Home Depot with survey questions.)
Then I wondered what’s next?

Then I wondered; When did I get OK with not knowing or having a real solid plan for my life?

I have always been the person that had to plan and think and dream — and don’t get me wrong I still dream! (I still think it is possible I will one day get to sing on the Grand Ole Opry! — An old dream from my childhood — ya never know — I didn’t know I could write anything till I was nearly 40 years old — I might still have a hit song in me.)

But unlike the dreams of my past my dreams no longer leave me unsettled.

In the past I spent far too much time thinking about how life would be better if only…

Now I have a trust that I can’t explain — at least not without my Bible in hand.

That is not to say I don’t still have moments where I cry out in frustration over the things that seem simply beyond my control or I find myself questioning the ALL MIGHTY and the plans HE has for me .

But I no longer live in that state of dissatisfaction that I let define me for far too many years.

And I wish I could snap my fingers and take you where I am now — to help you find your way to a peace that transcends all understanding — but it is a journey unique to everyone of us — and oh so personal.

I can offer this however — if as you reflect on your last five years you are left wanting — if the future you anticipate is keeping you up at night — if you think dreams are for children — then take a deep breathe and clear your mind.

Be still for a moment

Then say a prayer

Not one filled with the usual bullet points and recitations but a prayer of the spirit.

One where you open yourself to what GOD wants to pour into your soul — regardless of the plans you have or the desires of your heart.

Learning to let go and let GOD is the first step to living a life that will allow you to reflect on not just the last five years filled with peace — but it will truly allow you to step out into the uncertainty of tomorrow knowing that no matter what the future holds you are a citizen of something so much greater than what we can begin to comprehend.

It’s an exercise you will have to do again and again and again and again because just as assuredly as you will find the peace that transcends all understanding you will again wake up to a restless uncertainty the minute you take your eyes off JESUS CHRIST.

BE STILL AND KNOW is not just a verse we read when we study and that we inscribe on our walls — BE STILL AND KNOW — is the key to it all — the key to allowing GOD to sort out the things that we think don’t make sense or that we don’t understand and trusting that the ending is really only the beginning.

God Bless

LaVern Vivio

July 16, 2017

Sent from my iPad

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