Watching Out the Window

These days I spend a lot of time staring out of the window.

As I’ve aged, I’ve become more of an internal processor. I balance all of the competing priorities in my life: person, wife, mother, daughter, doctoral student, executive, friend, minister. So, while sitting in front of the window, I entertain a carousel of thoughts, where I get up and change seats often. Sometimes this is liberating. Sometimes this is exhausting. And most of the time, I ride it alone as to not scare anyone else. It is both a spectacle and mundane.

Lately I have been wondering, in this year of slow spring, what it means to really adventure in ways that are passionate and liberating, fresh and exhilarating. I am watching out the window to see how far the road or field goes. How far do I have to run so that my legs ache and my heart wants to burst? Where I can feel wild and accomplished? What really sets me free?

As I stare out the window, I can feel the wind bringing what is next. I am breathing it in. Last week, I attempted to tidy up my wondering by sharing about what is stirring with a trusted colleague. As I spoke about this fiery ember emerging in my gut, she perceptively observed, “You want to start a movement.” I said no. I attempted to explain this thing that was moving around, creating a holy agitation, but igniting something new.

“A movement, then. That’s what that is,” she kindly explained.

No…but yes. These past few months of peering through the curtains has churned a new thirst that is unsettling. My carousel of thoughts screams loudly, “There is no more room!” Yet, as I feel this passion filling my chest like new breath, I am realizing the carousel should run on this same breath. My life should be re-centered around the things that bring life.

Until now, duty has been my driver; responsibility the sole accelerant. They drive what stays on and what goes off the carousel, and my capacity demands the right to determine the finite bandwidth that moves me. This means I have to choose. I cannot be passionate about my work and my family.  My dreams and my ideas. Something always has to give. I will eventually age out of my adventures because somehow my heart and body can’t hold on to all the dreams.

This is the lie.

As I look out the window and see new life emerging from the ground, I am learning something brand new.

I can make the bold and daring choice to create an axis of movement that is driven by life. A life where I collapse, not from exhaustion, but exhilaration. I can drop onto couches and into communities, breathing in the air of wild ideas and nurturing hearts enlarged with mountains to climb. I can play on lawns filled with grass and giggles, reaching my arms wide as I whisper my dreams to my kids and see their smiles. I can choose to bravely open my eyes, my heart, and my schedule most widely to the things that will bring me life.

I want to feel more. And I want to re-discover what it feels like to feel more like myself—before social media and email. A new version of an old me. Fear and fearlessness duking it out in my chest as I grab the keys, but now with a host of allies and ideas tempered in resiliency and community. Watching from my window, I have caught a glimpse of my resurrection, and I am ready. I am ready to let passion move me and to live free.

Eliza Cortes Bast is a fierce and honest follower of Jesus. She is a pastor, and denominational executive, dedicated to helping churches think missionally. She lives into her passion by connecting people, advocating for the community, and helping organizations think strategically so they can be healthy, vibrant, and sustainable. Eliza lives in Michigan with her patient and handsome husband EJ, and their two boys. Her loves include her home country Puerto Rico, her interracial marriage, a good steak, salsa dancing, writing, empowering emerging leaders, making the impossible possible, Diet Coke, and mentoring. She is not a big fan of anger without action, generalizations, basketball, and saying you can’t live without coffee. She believes you can, because she believes in you.