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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)

TITLE: Already... But Not Yet
By Emily Gibson


The first full day of spring broke bright, sunny and full of promise. After a hectic day at work, I turned to my barn chores, rushing to bring the horses in to the barn as the sunset began coloring everything on the farm. I wanted to take a picture of the paint-streaked sky, but the sunís descent was faster than I. By the time I grabbed the camera and headed to the hillside to take photos of the red flushed woods to the east, the amber hue was barely visible as a cloak of gray dusk settled over everything. I took photos in that mere light and when I loaded them on the computer there reappeared the light I'd lost outside. Though grainy from the darkness, the red was vibrant and visible after all. The sun had already set, but not quite yet.

It was an "already but not yet" kind of week. Spring has already arrived if one looks at the calendar. Yet there are not the typical signs of full-fledged spring. The frogs have not begun to chorus at night, the orchard buds are staying stubbornly small, the tulip blossoms are staying tight and green, the grass is only beginning to show growth, the snow is still low in the hills. So there is a ďnot yetĒ feel to spring. We continue to wait, hopeful.

One of our mares seemed "all ready" to deliver her foal last week when we needed to be away for the farm for a couple days, so a "horse sitter" came and stayed until we returned, and but the foal arrival time was "not yet", so it was an exceedingly boring mare watch for her.

My 85 year old mother spent the week in the hospital after suffering a small stroke which affected her balance and coordination. Though not a major setback for her physically, it was a blow to her confidence and makes her feel vulnerable to future strokes, which may be worse next time. She knows, after a long healthy life, she should be "all ready" for the day the Lord takes her home, but it is "not yet" her time.

I am already in the midst of my own life transition with plummeting hormonal levels in my 50s as my teenage daughter's peak. I'm most definitely in the proverbial middle of the generational sandwich--whether I'm the meat, the cheese or a condiment is not clear to me. What I do know is that I'm not yet done with this very challenging and compressed part of my life.

Already but not yet. There is tension in knowing that something profound is happening--a vanishing sunset, a vernal equinox, a life change or transition, but the transformation is not yet complete, and Iím not sure when it will be. I am still unfinished business.

In a few weeks I will be reminded of what is yet to come. I will know the shock of the empty tomb. My heart will burn within me as more is revealed to me, through the simple act of bread breaking.

It is finished on my behalf.

Iím all ready.

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This article has been read 466 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 03/21/09
Effective use of repetition of the two key phrases in this very well-written essay.
Rachel Rudd 03/22/09
I like the play on words you used in this piece. I also got a laugh out of the "meat, cheese, or condiment" barb.:) This was a well-written piece with a good message!
Bryan Ridenour03/24/09
This seems to have a wonderful devotional feel to it. Really enjoyed this entry. Nicely done!
Chely Roach03/24/09
I loved the title, and how you wove it through the piece. My favorite part was, "There is tension in knowing that something profound is happening--a vanishing sunset, a vernal equinox, a life change or transition, but the transformation is not yet complete, and Iím not sure when it will be. I am still unfinished business." What a perfect portrayal of the Kingdom now, and the Kingdom yet to come. Just loved it. Well done!
Mona Purvis03/24/09
Being an all-or-nothing kind of girl, this gave me pause. I don't know if I have ever thought this way before. It's very interesting and something I will be thinking about.
The writing was the perfect tone for the content.
Dee Yoder 03/24/09
Yes, I'm that sandwich, too, and I also have no idea what part of the sandwich I am! Wonderful, as usual, Emily! Welcome to Masters-how'd I miss that?!
Sharon Kane03/25/09
Now you add another already (in masters) but not yet ('cause you have to wait for the new quarter!)
On a serious note, Gregory preached a sermon on the Kingdom of God at least 10 years ago on this theme. I have never forgotten it. It was the most helpful take on the subject I have ever heard. We truly do live in that tension, much as we would prefer everything to be 'tidy'. Well done for some excellent illustrations from daily life that make the unseen things easier to understand.