There is a little stone church not too far from one of my favorite places in the U.S. Always neatly cared for and standing strong among the pines and the windy snowy landscape of northern Michigan. These hearty people have embraced this chapel and it is a testament to their strength and the rural witness in the heart of America. What things to do you embrace? Where do you stand strong? Do you embrace truth or beauty or strength or imagination? What drives your life each day – what is the emblem of your life? What is your spire and where are the windows?
Albert Einstein once said, “Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” What do we embrace – how do we define it: to take or clasp in the arms; press to the bosom; hug; to take or receive gladly or eagerly; accept willingly: to embrace an idea; to avail oneself of: to embrace an opportunity; to adopt (a profession, a faith); to take in with the eye or the mind. It is all these things, isn’t it? We are called to be open and grounded at the same time. Knowing who we are and what we are about is like that little stone church – planted strong against the north winds – snow, summer heat, and all the extremes of nature. We too must face these extremes of life and weather them or be defeated. Embrace who you are – be grounded in your purpose but embrace the opportunities of the world around you. Don’t stop – for today will open up a surprise for you if you look. Ecclesiastes 3:5 is written with a rhythm of life and and truth, (there is) “a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing…” Walk the path of the day, embrace the challenges, refrain and rest, catch the rhythm.