A few years ago, I was living in Melbourne, Australia and went to see the Netherlands Ballet. It had been a hectic few weeks and I was wrestling with the decision as to whether, after eight years of living Down Under, I should put down roots or move back to the U.S. I had always found the ballet inspiring and wondered if the evening might unfold some clue for me.
When the lights dimmed and the dancers entered, each carried a small rug rolled under his or her arm. Some unrolled theirs and languidly lay on them. Others used them as a cloak, or simply clutched them. Still others stood on theirs, frozen in place.
Suddenly, giant carpets with abstract designs were lowered from the rafters and hung like enormous paintings slicing the air. Then, the first few bars of music began.
The dancers started weaving gracefully among the hanging carpets. Some embraced the smaller ones like a lover. Others rolled inside theirs frantically, or buried their faces in deep anguish. A few lay motionless as if in a sacred sleep or meditation. The remaining troupe whirled wildly among the suspended forest as if trying to find their way.
The Dance of Life
This dance seemed to me just like life. We move in and out of seasons, sometimes passionately engaged, other times lost or frantic, at intervals racked with pain, or simply frozen with uncertainty. Thankfully, every now and then, we can take a pause and rest while life around us thunders on.
That evening, the ballet did “unfold” some insight for me. I recognized the movement of the seasons in my own life…and the unmistakable call to come home to America.
Discovering The Design
A short time later, I moved back to California. “Coincidentally” the carpet theme was to surface again soon. At a women’s retreat, the speaker compared life to a carpet! She said that while the underside of a rug was an ugly and chaotic maze of threads and knots pulling in different directions without apparent rhyme or reason, the front part displayed God’s beautiful design for our lives, full of color and purpose. If one focused only on the back, the image was anarchic, but in the front, this seemingly random maze of threads wasn’t haphazard at all, but worked together to shape the beauty and harmony of a unique design.
A Time of Reflection
As I look back on last year, my life’s carpet reveals a bit of a maze! Vibrant yellows, pinks and greens exuberantly criss crossed the back declaring many new creative endeavors that dominated my life. Jagged and truncated brown and black threads announced my failed attempts at other projects. Other more familiar strands of blue, burgundy, ivory, and gold offered the glimpse of stability and continuity. And then today, there are those mysterious new threads of fresh lavenders and turquoise. These pluck on the strings of my soul like those of a musical instrument, resonating with the promise of fulfillment this year…and perhaps beyond?
A Time for Reflection
Perhaps there is no greater weave than the one that reflects God’s faithfulness in my life. I am so profoundly thankful for my husband’s continued healing from cancer (you can read our inspirational story at www.healedhealthyandwhole.com). Everything else seems to pale in comparison, though I persevere in hope and expectation that God will weave beautiful new designs with our dreams for the future.
Your Life’s Masterpiece
Today, I pray that each of you can roll out a ‘carpet’ of your own and have a moment of true reflection and rest. Even when you can’t see it, trust that God is behind the scenes, ‘weaving’ all things out for your good. Perhaps when you look back at the end of 2016, you will see the divine design behind many of His present purposes in your life. Then, one day, when your dance is finally done, you will stand before Him radiant and complete, a true masterpiece!