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

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Into Thin Air

By Micky Wolf

How could that be possible? Temperatures, with wind chills of twenty to thirty degrees below zero.

Tepid sunshine. It is mid-winter, after all. Bone chilling cold, nose-dripping madness. Frosty, frozen piles, everywhere.

Nothing is melting, and yet, it is disappearing.

No surprise—turns out there is a scientific explanation. (Thank you, my beloved.) It’s called sublimation. What makes the phenomenon even more interesting? It can occur with things other than ice and snow.

The basic process involves a significant change in the substance: “to sublime or sublimate” is to evolve from one form into another without first transitioning into a liquid. In this case, much of the white stuff on our drive went from solid ice to vapor within a few hours. The sunshine hitting the surface was all that was necessary to get things moving. Unseen by the naked eye, lots of little molecules began jumping around and bumping into one another, until they disappeared into the air.

In an instant, I was struck with how you and I can be impacted in a similar manner—with a little Divine intervention.

A little sun-Son goes a long way…

The snow was not going to get up and go away of its own accord. We made the choice to move it off the drive as well as we could, which increased the likelihood for sublimation to occur.

Same thing applies to our becoming more Christ-like. We may resist, we may ignore, we may just ‘lay there’ waiting for who-knows-what-to-happen, but God will move in our circumstances and through our relationships to transition our hearts from a solid, unloving substance into one that is free, more loving, and more compassionate to those we encounter on our journey.

Jesus can show up, get the process moving, and do wonders with the tiniest bunch of molecules that inhabit our being. His effectiveness is not contingent upon how many bad attitudes or stinking behaviors we may have allowed to accumulate.

God can sublimate the most challenging…

Our ideas of a challenge are different than God’s. What we see as impossible, the Divine sees as an opportunity to create something beautiful or great.

The sun that shone on our driveway that morning was present throughout the neighborhood. So why didn’t all the surfaces experience the process of transitioning from ice into vapor? Barriers. Obstacles. Lack of homeowner attention (probably for a variety of good explanations) to the need to do their part by first clearing away the snow.

Thankfully, God isn’t as constrained in His wherewithal to effect transformation. We couldn’t actually see the sublimation unfolding, only the result. Damp spots here and there on the pavement were the only sign ice had covered that area.

The Divine works much the same way in the hearts and souls of human beings. We often don’t see the results of His presence until after the experience. How many times have you said, “Wow, didn’t see that coming.” Or, “I didn’t understand why such and such happened, but now I know.” This can be the case with suffering, or extended seasons of spiritual dryness. God has not abandoned us; He is simply going about His business apart from our awareness.

This is especially important to remember if we have family members or friends we believe are lacking in faith, indifferent to God, or disinclined to developing their spiritual life. It would be unloving and unwise to assume that because we see little or nothing happening on the outside, the same holds true in the depths of their being.

Nothing pleases God more than to transform the parts of you and me that are frozen and crusty into thoughts, feelings, and actions that are bursting with healthy life, and through which His light can move to touch, heal, and restore—others as well as ourselves.

And that, fellow sojourner, produces the most amazing evidence of a vanishing act of the highest order we could ever wish or hope for.

Do I believe a little Son can go a long way?

How do I feel about cooperating with God for personal transformation?

Do I see myself (or others) as a Divine challenge? Why? 


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