Openness

How open are you to change? Do you plan out the year with gusto? Does your At-A-Glance Planner guide your every move, every decision? Do you allot time for rest somewhere in the pages and margins?

If your personal calendar could be paused on say July 4th, would you (or I) opt to do our holidays differently? If we could see the time drawn out [beforehand] and know metaphysically that altering the day would yield even more, would we do it? Could we do it for someone other than our closest circle?

Often Leah and I visit home for Independence Day. We travel the 3 hours north to Monticello, Kentucky and arrive to friends and fireworks and ever-ripening melon on the back porch. It’s restful and comforting to see so many familiar faces. We love the time spent celebrating with others.

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If you could think about where you’re going, what you’re doing during the remainder of this summer, how open would you be to it all changing? What is openness really? When was the last time you simply let go of the plan and let the day transpire? I ask all of these things, because we’re about to have a baby in the coming weeks…

Parenthood has opened my eyes to the unknown. I’m sure it’s done a similar number to many of you reading this. Things were set and largely certain for a number of seasons in the Tucker household. I’ve appreciated the time, but I’ve also grown accustomed to the predictable reality that is drawn out on the page. The calendar shows what comes next. And as I’ve talked with so many at Journey, I’ve learned that parenthood brings with it a tired, albeit unknown ‘refresh’ button of sorts.

Gone are the predictable Saturday nights. The blasé discussions about what to watch Netflix are largely forgotten. It sounds surreal and also very much like an adventure. A quest into the unknown. How to keep a human being alive. How to ask God for help. How to change a disastrous diaper quicker than a pit crew.

Is the key to all of this being open? If so, it is as Thomas Merton once wrote saying openness is not acquired but “a radical gift” from outside of ourselves.

Much like the gifts you gave at the Henderson and Tucker baby shower a few Sundays past, I think of what goes into a gift. I think of the gift givers giving because they wanted to. It, much like receiving openness, is something otherworldly.

If we can wrap our minds around it for a second, it is the desire to see things as being “from God” and “for others.” It is neither selfish nor self-seeking. It is unopposed and purposeful in our hearts.

Brian L. Tucker
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