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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

If this is not a Place…

by  Paul Hettinga

Recently I have been listening to Ken Medema’s Podcasts “Inside the Songs” as I’m walking in the morning. Many of us know Ken and have seen and heard him in concert over the years. Like me, I’m sure most of you find him to be inspiring both in his life and his message through music.

On his podcast titled “Places” he plays this wonderful song “If this is not a Place” and for some reason this morning that brought me to tears. I should say that I get teary eyed pretty quickly these days, but that’s another story for another day.

It’s been nearly 9 months since I have retired – and during this time, I have tried to devote myself to answering the question of  “Who does God want me to be or what does God want me to do with this next chapter of my life?” I’ve read a number of things, I’ve kept a journal, I’ve tried to be quieter than normal and I’ve certainly prayed more fervently. I’m currently starting to meet with a spiritual director to give me a little life coaching with a spiritual perspective.

However, I don’t have much good news to report yet. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love all my free time and I use it to do things I’m interested in. But as for answering this question, I’m beginning to doubt the sincerity of my own questions at this point. I wonder if God is thinking the same thing.

And yet, I’m continuing to stay in this place and to be more present to God’s quiet nudges that come in many forms instead of filling up my life with lots of other places, responsibilities and activities. It’s a little threatening to my ego and there are days I just think I’m being lazy, unproductive and should get off my dead butt and get out there again.

But somehow deep within my heart, I know the place I need to be right now is this quiet listening place within the core of who I am, and it’s this place where God will dwell in me and gently transform me into the image he wants me to be.

Ken doesn’t answer the question “If this is Not a Place” – but he certainly suggests a whole lot of places that won’t help us to know ourselves and be known by God. Take a few minutes to listen to the You Tube of Ken performing this wonderful song.

May God bless you richly in your own pursuit of authentic living, 

If This Is Not A Place. . .
   Ken Medema

Click here to download a You Tube video of Ken performing this:

If this is not a place where tears are understood,
Then where shall I go to cry?
And if this is not a place where my spirit can take wings,
Then where shall I go to fly?

I don't need another place for trying to impress you
With just how good and virtuous I am.
I don't need another place for always being on top of things;
Everybody knows that it's a sham.

I don't need another place for always wearing smiles,
Even when it's not the way I feel.
I don't need another place to mouth the same old platitudes;
Everybody knows that it's not real.

So if this is not a place where my questions can be asked,
Then where shall I go to seek?

And if this is not a place where my heart cry can be heard,
Where, tell me where, shall I go to speak?
So if this is not a place where tears are understood,
Where shall I go, where shall I go to fly?

-- Ken Medema

artwork by Alicia Drakiotis, Marlborough, NH

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