Sunday, October 29, 2006

Breathing & Becoming

Last evening Cathy & I went to a birthday party. At the party, they had a few bottles of wonderful red wine available. It was being poured from a decanter. A little while into the party, one of the guests remarked that she had poured herself a 2nd glass, this time from the bottle -- and was amazed at the difference the decanter made. I asked her, half-jokingly, if she'd poured it out and replaced it with some from the decanter. She said "No, I'll just give it some more time in the glass."

I didn't think too much about it, but when I awoke this morning at 2:30 or so, I was struck that this word-picture is a very apt analogy for a friend of mine, but also for how I would like to be.

In a January '06 post, I mentioned personal metaphors, and how I see myself as a Translator. In a May '06 post, I wrote about the process of developing a personal mission statement, and mentioned my desire to help people feel more loved, and less burdened. These two posts came back to me as I lay awake at 2:30 this morning, pondering the image of a decanter. In addition to being a Translator, and one who helps people feel loved, perhaps another metaphor for my life -- one I would like to fulfill, but have a long way to go in -- is as a Decanter. I want to be someone who, when people spend time with me, they relax and breathe and become more fully who they are; who they're intended to be.

This reminded me of yet another blog post (am I the only one whose mind is this active at 2:30 in the morning?). In his humorously titled post cob-o-lob-o-dob-o, my friend Brennan paid me compliment which (I'd like to hope) is a bit prophetic. He said:
It seems that some people can make other people into more of themselves, this is a rare quality indeed. When I am around COB I feel more myself than I was before. And that is good.
That's someone I would like to be more and more. As I was pondering this, it also struck me: this word-picture of a decanter applies to the "waiting" season of life I'm in right now. Any good soup (or good beer!) must go through the process called "conditioning" where it sits in a pot (or a carboy!) and, well, that's it.

It just...sits there. The process seems pretty boring and makes me think "Nothing is happening! Why can't I eat the soup yet? Why can't I drink the beer yet?" I could, I suppose, but it wouldn't taste nearly as good as if I waited for it to finish conditioning. It seems like nothing is happening in the conditioning process but, in reality, flavors are blending and maturing. Fragrances and nuances are being released. This takes time.

This seems to be the place God has me at the moment. In order to become fully me, to really become that Decanter, I need to spend more time in His decanter. It is in His presence I can truly relax and breathe and become more fully who I am; who I'm intended to be. And it is comforting to know that, should I get impatient and try to rush things, He does not toss me aside.

He just lets me spend more time in the glass.

Breathing and becoming.

~ Keith

(Tom Petty may have been talking about a woman instead of God, but I think he had it right)

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