If you read my last blog entry, you know that I’ve been trying to “lie fallow,” to rest up, rejuvenate myself after a grueling school year. My time “under my umbrella” has certainly not been anything like the scene under Rihanna’s umbrella, although I feel compelled to mention hers because it seems to be slightly more in the forefront of the public conscience. The point I want to make is that the scene under my humble, not-so-famous backyard umbrella has not been the scene I expected.
I thought if I spent more time under my umbrella thinking and observing, I would have more things to say. (I’ve found this is important as a blogger.) It didn’t work out that way. Not that it can’t work out that way. I think many people find inspiration in solitude. They steal away to rustic cabins in forests primeval and the icy air clears their minds and souls. They receive revelations under softly falling snow and moonlit mountains. Evidently, I’m not that kind of person.
I’m the kind of person who is guilty of tossing around the phrase, “God meets you where you are,” like I’m in a spiritual game of Toss Across. If I can just get my beanbag to hit the right X, I’ll be the winner. I think I have to hit the right X and get in the right position to be where God will meet me. That kind of game is anything but “God Meets You Where You Are.”
Instead, God meets me where I am when I’m not even thinking about exactly where that is. It’s like this: I was sitting under my umbrella, pen in hand, waiting for God to show me something I was supposed to be learning or appreciating or doing. But God had really planned on meeting me over the beans on the stove. Or while I was checking the thermometer in my kid’s mouth. Or while I was folding the fifth basket of laundry for the day. After all, THOSE are the places He has been putting me lately – not on a lonely mountainside.
I’m not going to abandon my umbrella. I’m just not going to expect as much from it. And I may even listen to more of Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you can’t underestimate from what you might learn something.