The lovely Nilsa posed a great question in response to my post yesterday about the inspiring stories I heard at the Chicago conference: "So," she asked, "what's the first thing you're doing (or continuing to do) with your life?"
I thought about that all day. Her question stumped me. I'm an idea person, so I can happily go along for months pondering fun new thoughts and ideas, never stopping to plan out my actual application. (It's sort of like if I bought one of those fancy Kitchen-Aid mixers: I'd be totally excited about owning it, imagining all the great things it could help me create, but six months could go by, I'd never have pulled out the manual to learn how to use the thing.) So I was grateful for her question.
Here's what I've come up with for an answer: One of the speakers--her name was Julia-- talked about how we're created to have our feet on the ground and our head in the clouds. She elaborated, explaining that while we have to deal with the practical stuff of real life--irritating bosses, dirty bathrooms, our neighbor's dog who poops on our lawn--we can do so with with an understanding that God does stuff, that there is real heavenly power available to us to help, and God can intercept and rearrange our circumstances in ways that exceed our expectations. Sometimes, I forget this.
The truth is, I tend to be either/or, vacillating between practical and spiritual, with no link between the two. For example, when I arrived in Chicago, I was mired in real life; my entire body was on the ground, in the mud & muck of stuff I had to get done in order for life to work. The week before, I'd floated around on a puffy pink cloud of optimism, certain the world was my oyster, but forgetting to thaw food for dinner, return my library books, or do the laundry that contained every last pair of my underwear. So I totally related when Julia said, "LADIES! Some of you need to STRETCH!"
So that's my take away from the conference: I'm going to STRETCH. When I'm overwhelmed by worry and stress and fear and doubt, I'll stop and ask God for help. And when I'm dreaming of heavenly possibilities, I'll throw in a load of laundry. This is my new alter-ego. We'll see if my 5'4" can reach heaven and earth simultaneously :)