"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pregnant with Possibilities

By Micky Wolf
The world waited. Wondering—and then the news—a Prince! Probably few babies are as publicly anticipated as those born to royalty, including the recent event complete with good natured hubbub over who would emerge, literally, as the latest in a line of heirs awaiting their turn to fill the seat of the British Monarchy. 

It’s easy to visualize human pregnancy. Various sizes of baby bumps rest front and center on the mother-to-be. The best case scenario involves a woman delighted to be carrying new life, a father nervously awaiting the birth of his child, and a flotilla of extended family more than eager to pass along limitless hugs, piles of pink or blue head-to-toe coordinated cozy coverings, and bundling of all sorts. And not to forget the stashes of boxes of properly sized bum covers.

However, carrying new life, from a Christian perspective, is part of the bigger picture of God’s plan for each of us, extending well beyond birthing babies in the purely physical sense. When we take the time to consider the Divine possibilities, we open ourselves to experiences that will amaze, delight, heal, and transform our thoughts, emotions, bodies, and hearts, surpassing anything we ever dreamed possible. 

Beyond the stable…     
The most incredible action of God, from the birthing perspective, will always include Mary and the Incarnation of the Son of God within her being. At the same time, isn’t it interesting that many of us believe only she was up to the task, or worthy of being impregnated in such a manner? Yes, it is true she was the one chosen (and who accepted) to carry Jesus in human form. Yet if we don’t allow ourselves to see, feel, and ponder the greater significance of her “yes”, we may resist becoming pregnant and nurturing what we are to carry and deliver in the way God desires. 

More than soft, cooing infants…

It is not at all unusual to hear people make the comment, “this child was a gift from God.” Thankfully, most children are desired and wanted from the first news of the pregnancy. (May we include in our prayers, those entering this world under less than loving conditions.)
“Pregnancy”, in God-language and design, is as much about being implanted with the special gifts of His nature in our spirits as it is about any physical birthing. Would you be pleasantly surprised—or maybe a bit anxious—to realize you’re not here simply to occupy space or utilize resources? Somewhere, deep within the core of your being, are the seeds of “being the unique you” that God—and the rest of us—need brought into life. Birthed. 

Here’s the being pregnant part—discovering the seeds of the gifts God has placed within you is only the beginning. And that discovering part is not all about you. Or me. It takes prayer, time, and discernment, to nurture, grow, and mature the seed into the fullness of life God intends for it.

Form and function…

Some babies are boys and others are girls, although it wasn’t that many decades ago we had to literally wait until damp, rosy cheeks and wiggling arms and legs pushed through into the harsh glare of overhead light to know what our special deliveries brought with them.

Mothers-to-be cannot control every aspect of what is happening with the life they are carrying. By the same token, much of what goes into that tiny being—literally and otherwise—is within their influence. Diet, exercise, rest, and relaxation all contribute to a healthy newborn.

The same can be said for the care and attention we give to the gifts God places within our being. They come in an incredible array of colors, textures, sights and sounds, but they too need to be nurtured and formed. If we get in too big a hurry to send them into the world and use them before we have given them time to grow and develop, we—and others—may very well end up with a mess.

Wielding a gift in a desire to serve others, especially in the name of God, is best served when we understand more clearly what has been planted within us and the manner in which it is to be used. Good intentions are fine, but not enough. A nutritious spiritual lifestyle that includes, prayer, Scripture Study, like-minded community, mentoring or discipling—all contribute mightily in the healthy delivery of these gifts into the relationships and experiences of everyday life.

Formation and the future…

To this point, I haven’t focused on identifying any of the gifts, by name, which God may implant in our hearts and spirits. And necessarily so. While it is true some pregnant parents may come up with a list of possible monikers, it usually isn’t until the actual delivery and getting that first, full, face-to-face look that mom and dad connect one those names with the squealing bundle that has been deposited into eagerly awaiting arms.

So, too, with the gifts we have been invited to incubate and deliver. We may have an inkling of what they look, feel, sound, smell, and feel like, but until we actually take time to nourish and grow them, with the presence of God and the Holy Spirit, in the quiet, womb-sheltered place of our hearts, we risk putting them out into the world lacking the qualities and attributes that make them—and us—the unique and special beings God has created us to be.

Once brought into the light of day, there will be plenty of opportunity to grow and mature—hopefully, for the infant as well as you and me. May it be especially so, that as we wait upon the Lord for his perfect timing in all things, we carry, deliver and serve, fulfilling the purpose which He has bestowed to each of us.

What does it mean to carry Jesus within?

Do I believe God has implanted me with His gifts?

Am I open to allowing Him to help me understand those gifts?

Am I impatient or patient with the nurturing and formation process? Why?


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