It is surprising how much time one can spend yearning for an unknown future or pining after a rose-colored past. I for one have lived too much in this unhealthy and unnecessary tension. The healthy version of the already but not yet is the glowing embers of a faith in what has already happened, what is presently happening and what is still to happen. That is a tension worth exploring.
I am speaking in more general terms. Today is like no other before it and unlike anything to come. It is absolutely unique in every way. Of course, it will have many features seemingly identical to those previously experienced that will give it a certain…predictability, at times ennui. But, for anyone seeking to practice life with God, it is anything but. Life can be routine but hardly predictable and never dull. Therefore, it pays to be consistently grateful and regularly hopeful.
I entered this day with old, familiar fears, recognizable yearnings and comfortable proclivities; the stuff that is my warp, woof and wake. God is not unfamiliar with these things in me. Nor is God particularly vexed by them since, to quote G.K. Chesterton, “sin [read all that doesn’t quite make the grade in life’s terms] is the least interesting thing about us to God.” Good thing because I’m especially gifted at it and have a few spectacular ones to my credit. Viewed through the wrong lens, they might easily be misconstrued as a jaunty tip of the hat to the devil (who or whatever that is).
To live life perched atop the twin cliffs of unfulfilled longing and unrealized dreams is to lean precariously over a bubbling cauldron of self-pity and willful blindness. That is an ugly, unwelcome concoction to be sure. It smells bad. It’s dangerous and never very fortifying. God brings so many people into my life. Some want someone to hear them laugh and rejoice. Others are hurting, needing the Jesus touch, which, at that exact moment, can only be brought by me. God is both willing and fully capable of doing so without me. But why, when I’ve been given the gift of inclusion in the secret schemes of heaven while living on earth?
The fact is that I/we, have been given life, physically and spiritually. I do not want to waste such a precious gift trying to foist upon the world the unwieldy clubs of self-pity, regret, self-doubt, self…anything. In seeking to be healed, I must seek instead to become an agent of healing. And I can only do that as I open my eyes to what my eyes first see.
In the days and months that drift lazily past like a prairie stream, things have changed. My mind has changed on stuff. I think differently about who I am and who I am not. I feel differently. I no longer feel the need to grope desperately in the darkness for any shred of passing light but, in the waning dark, revel in the growing light. As they say, “it’s a God thing.” Instead of grasping for things over which I have no control, I am striving to submit honestly and readily to things as they are; the life I am currently living.
The life I have is the one I embrace. Regardless of what may still be lacking, I lean into all that is and hope for what can be; for what is yet to come.
I am finding today.