Transformation

 

I have been sparring with words like transformation, attainment, and ascension, ever since the Easter message of death and resurrection.  It was probably sparked by my favourite preacher Dr Mark Chironna’s often spoken phrase   ‘rising out of dead things’
The concept is shadowing me, and I constantly want to grope at it, but just can’t get a grip on it.   So I thought to let it mull and mature through the observations that come my way.

First, it was hearing the bigger picture of the Gospel pattern, which may well reflect our own spiritual progress of death burial and resurrection  (rising out of dead things)
Then the pattern increased in scope with the Ascension and Pentecost.   But still, there was no clear understanding on my part.   Still groping !

Butterfly 1      

Butterfly 2

Second, it was the completion of a two-part watercolour pencil painting of butterflies, that I did as a gift for my friend Jenny’s newly moved-in home.
Butterflies, now there is a story of true transformation.    First the egg, then the caterpillar  then morphs the beautiful butterfly – not without a struggle though !   Isn’t Nature a wonderful teacher ?
But the butterfly had to go through the process of transformation.

worm to butterfly
Perhaps these serious thoughts of seeking clarity are because I have been in a safe and secure cocoon state for some years now.   I have been a little frustrated with my ‘futility’ and my ‘redundancy’, yet the solitary has brought with it contentment and a little creativity – big pluses !   Now looming is the unknown and a suspect of oncoming change.

I turn my attention to attainment.   But I cannot get to attainment.    Besides attainment smacks of self effort, at which I am not an ace!   So I wrestle on with words and thoughts, and procrastination.
I do believe though that we must endeavour to – attain.   We must be looking to always learn, grow, expand and develop our personalities, character and lives.  Else we stagnate, become dull and boring, or even worse – stay as we are.
But I am smartly reminded, and comforted from Scripture :
You have hedged me behind and before, And laid your hand upon me.   Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.  It is high I cannot attain it.  – Psalm 139:5,6

Thirdly, I know that growing and developing is a process.  It does not happen in a day or even a year, – perhaps in a moment in time,  perhaps with just one word that brings another perspective, – but usually the processes have to sink in to bring about slow change.
Here before my eyes,  I see on the current TV news, a glimpse into our country’s political arena,  a very good example of slow change.
South Africa is in the grip of election fever, with 770,000 registered voters ready to make their mark on 8 May 2019.    The clamour of the political parties are vibrant, and their constituents all clad in colourful battle attire of T-shirts and caps.  The African National  Congress in yellow,  the Economic Freedom Fighters in red
Butterfly SAand a wave of blue from the  Democratic Alliance – all a
spectacular colour parade in stadiums for their last 
final push for political victory in democracy and
transformation – from ‘dead things’ – (if we can
only get passed the demons of greed and corruption !)

This colourful parade of politics brought to mind the writings of Dr Don Beck’s book The Crucible.   I think he was hugely instrumental in the ‘behind-the- scenes’ of the forming of a new South Africa, in 1994.    His research brought great understanding, for me,  of the developmental stages of people, organisations and even of nations, with his colour chart of psychological development, which is as follows  – and I over-simplify my interpretation thereof :
Beige  – survival minded
Purple – mystic, spiritual minded
Red  – expression  (militant anger and/or creativity)
Blue – conformity,  order  (disciplined and responsible)
Orange – competitive (sport, business, achievement)
Green –  community minded.
Yellow  –  networking, coalition minded.
Turquoise – Global minded.
Colour ?  –  suspected future development to come, is left blank.

And so with these colour dynamics one may identify, the state of mind of a person or organisation or group of people.   This is helpful to bring about or at least understand transformation, and bring solutions to problem people or groups of people.
It is not a chart of the hierarchy of successful development, merely an indication of where we are on the chart –  or in the rainbow, so to speak !
All these can be at the extreme ends or in-between on the colour spectrum.

Again, I ask, but what brings the actual transformation and development.   Well, the short answer is God’s grace, and His goodness, of course.   But I think its the seeing where we are at, and if we are willing to make a change that will in fact bring change.   Because change is inevitable.

So  presently, what is your favourite colour  ?
In my time, I have been a purple person, a blue and a green,  currently I think I am red – trying to express myself with to many words and drawings !!

Finally, Ascension, it is a high concept, that is still to high for me to attain.
I know in the Christian faith one is growing from the carnal to the spiritual.   The Spirit-filled life is higher than the physical life.
But how do you attain it, I ask ?   Again the short answer is only by God’s grace and His goodness.
But His ways are not our ways, and so the pattern of the Gospel may be helpful, as we see Jesus willingly going to the Cross, before He could come to the place of Ascension.

Like the metamorphosis of the butterfly, it does not come about without struggle, a struggle for survival, whether it be physical or spiritual.
In any one life there is always something higher to attain to.    Transformation is needed to grow into what we are meant to become.  We can reach for it, but it is God who will bring us through, by His Spirit, His resurrection power of new life, …. and in His time.

Butterflies.jpg

Extra Ordinary

 

 

ordinary ele
Be Grey and White, Faithful and Strong.

My Elephant turned from grey and white to extra ordinary.
Not so much for any artistic skill,  still have a long way to go for that to happen.
I purposely penciled in different shades of colour, just because I wanted him not to be  ordinary.

I once had a flash of insight that brought me to a reality check.  It was this.   It is in the ordinary, the mundane and in the core of consistency that strength, even meaning and  purpose lie.    It is in the normal flow of everyday things –  “same old same old”  of chores, routines, duties, responsibilities, appointments, and the general ability of being available, that make up faithfulness and loyalty and friendship that are some of the strong foundations of life.
Ordinary is an anchor !

I had not always thought like that.   I wanted to fly.  I wanted to live a full life of adventure, meaning and accomplishment.  I wanted to change the world – sometimes I still do.  Maybe that is the way some of us have been wired.  And there is nothing wrong with that !
But God in His wisdom knows best, and what is best for us.  And though He allowed me to ‘fly’, when it was my season to fly, He also gave me the hindsight to know that it was for the benefit of others, and not just for my own ego trip – which in essence it was at that time !   So it has always been at the back of my mind, fly when you can fly, but land in a safe place, because Ordinary is safe !

That is all good and well.   For some people that is enough – to be in the groove of  routine and responsibility.  It is right, and it is safe, and will accomplish a good end, an expected result. There is power in consistency !
But there are some people who are daring and want to express their personalities, their creativity, their passion, and their faith.  The Ordinary shrinks these ones, and if stifled long enough will suck life out of their expressive souls, and the expected end can be described in two words –  pure frustration !

Now frustration can be a teacher too.   It is frustration that will pile up and cause disgruntleness – a displeasure at the status quo, and this could be the breeding ground of witty inventions and innovations – a seeking of new paths and expressions.   If harnessed well frustration could be the place of new beginnings.    It could be the pivotal point for a thrust forward.   And that can be a good thing – yes ? – depending what you are talking to of course.

To go from Ordinary to Extraordinary will take big courage, big determination and a lot persistence, but it can be done.   It just takes one step of faith today, then another and another, until you see a glimmer and then the result of what you want.
Hebrews 11:1  captures faith like this :

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  

There is the Extra and there is the Ordinary – if you put them together you get the
Extraordinary – another species altogether !   Those who know their own minds, their capabilities, their strengths and their weaknesses, who set out to accomplish it for themselves,  – and then go on and grow the colourfulness of others – the others being the Ordinary.

Both are equally important, the world indeed need both the Ordinary and the Extraordinary,
But the Extraordinary are just a little more colourful – like my Elephant !!

 

my elephant
Be Big Bold and Colourful

 

Have A Red Geranium Day

My geranium

 

My heart has a special place for red geraniums.   Whenever I spot one in a garden I am reminded of the smoothing sense that contentment brings.

A few years ago, our family went through a trial of testing and of change.  It always is a little disturbing when you can’t see the road ahead of you.   So many an early morning I would just sit quietly in my garden with a cup of hot coffee and soak up the moment.

One morning I began to see things in my garden, and my garden began talking to me !
And no,  I wasn’t losing it –  it was the flow of ponder that brought new insights.
I began writing down some of the musings taking place, eventually had a little pile, which I bundled together, and labelled  My Talking Garden.

Now that I am pursuing my drawing skills with more classes,  I decided to do a project by combining my muse-writings with  illustrated drawings, to publish on my blog from time to time
Here for you then, is my wish for you, and my muse on the Red Geranium.

Have a Red Geranium Day

In my garden is a small red geranium, seemingly leaning on the foot of the giant Strelitzia, growing in the corner, behind the bird feeder.
A morning blast of sunlight made this red geranium centre stage.
How brilliant the red I thought.
Not in itself heralding a call for focus, just being there, brilliant in its position, in its colour, in it own small glory.
My heart aligned itself to the red geranium, and for a moment that is what I wanted to be.
No want for the clamouring of position, of attention for love, of big dreams fulfilled.  No want to cry for the well-being of family and friends and country.
No want, no needs, no demands.
What bliss.
Just to be there, to bake in the glory of the morning Son, nestled at the foot of the Father – and for a moment just To Be.
To let go and to live in this day, no matter the busy, the chore, the pain, but to live in peace and in quiet.
Today I am going to have a red geranium day, I thought to myself,
And just be a splash of bright colour in my own garden, to rest in a kind of contentment that peace brings.
May you too, my friend,  have a red geranium day,
 and share this vast contentment that is mine today.

My geranium

Psalm  37:7
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;