The Circle of Life

Circle_of_Life_Wallpaper_yltlfMany of us remember the scene from The Lion King when Simba is lifted high and the music of the “Circle of Life” swells around. I feel like I’m there right now.Last summer I spent a week of vacation with all my children and grandchildren in the mountains of Colorado. What an adventure: hiking, picnicking, rafting, 4-wheeling, biking, ziplining, trampoline bungee jumping, rodeo, country market, horseback riding—and lots of fishing.We ranged in age from me—the oldest—down to Ethan at 4 months old.The outdoor activities were fun, but even more special was the opportunity to be together—all 12 of us in one condo—and share meals and evenings and life together. Very special was our sweet “church” time on Sunday morning, each relating a Bible story or character that influenced us.I love to capture the reality of this Circle of Life I live in photo books. The one I did on this trip was number 11 for me. I have compiled a tribute to my mother on her 90th birthday and celebrated three weddings and the first year of each of my grandboys.Going over hundreds of photos, from my childhood to my grandchild, reminds me of so many things: the beauty of family, the fun we had and the fun we are still having, the growing up and growing old, the brevity of life on earth. We gather together for births and birthdays, graduations and weddings. And at the end we celebrate a life and say goodbye.And of course that is what we do as believers in Christ. We welcome people into God’s family and our fellowship. We celebrate new birth and good growth and happy milestones. We share joy and sorrow, passion and pain. We stand firm in the battle together, often holding each other up. We stir each other on to love and good works in the Spirit. We love to see expanding circles of God’s people—we love seeing true movements of God’s Spirit. And then, with tears and solid hope, we send them home ahead of us.What a privilege! We are helping to put together incredible photo books of the work of God on this earth. We are writing the stories of this family we are a part of. We are chronicling the victories of the spiritual battle. We are extending the circle of life far beyond our small confines, to the broader world, to all people, to every nation and tribe. For now and for eternity.I never get over it—that God brought me into this circle of life and asked me to help him grow it beyond what I can ask or think or even imagine.c Judy Douglass  2010