"Yes" - "Si" - "OK" - I'm curious, when you hear these words, what do they mean to you?
Do they conjure up moments of fear, shaky knees, uncertainty or perhaps joy, adventure or epic moments of excitement where you’re pretty sure your heart is beating on the outside of your chest like a cartoon?
I’ll admit it, when surprises occur I have a tendency to be completely shaky and choose responses like "o but i’ve got to go, I’m too busy, I’m not sure - can I get back to you?"
This reflection is on my recent and on-going movements to leap seemingly like a blind meerkat crossed with a kangaroo into the unknown waters of ‘Yes'...
If you want to make God laugh... tell God your plans!
I find that it’s pretty easy to plan my day and think; OK, I’ve got X-Y-Z to do and i’ve got to go from A - B - C.
More often than not calamity ensues and I’m left with the sobering realisation that I am indeed kidding myself. And, I’m fairly sure God is having a good laugh!
A metaphorical lighting strike recently hit me around the time of Ash Wednesday as I found myself contemplating the question “So, what are you doing for Lent?”
Smoke emerged from my ears with eye brows raised as I contemplated the three things I needed to cover for Lent: Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving. Hmmm…
Almsgiving is all focused on what we give-out. We are here to help one another, and travel this life together. I'm convinced God (a.k.a love) is found in community.
After a bit of head scratching I thought if I attempted to say yes more to the unknown surprises then I would give-out more openness, more inclusivity, more joy? Hey, it was worth a shot...
Moving past Ash Wednesday I set myself a goal to not instantly respond no. As opportunities have arisen I've turned off auto pilot, pushed myself to re-think, contemplate, and if possible respond yes. There have been occasions where I have needed to say no in order to say yes to previous commitments such as class or ministry placement. But, I have and am more mindful to be open to the spirit, to embrace surprises, to let go of my plans and embrace random encounters. I am (often comically) now finding myself hopping from A - F - Z - P.
Surprisingly I am more attentive, in some ways i’m seeking out encounters more. I've been putting away my phone; saying hello to people on the train or while standing at the lights. Taking a new running route on a whim. And just last week I said Yes to participating in an all day 3on3 basketball tournament to celebrate International Womens Day. I’ll admit I was a bit apprehensive, I didn’t know many people there. But hey, I said yes and what followed was a magic day of new connections, a few baskets, a whole lotta laughter and what felt like love that can only come from a courageous yes.
"The willingness to consider possibility requires a tolerance of uncertainty."
Jane Maisey rsj