the gift we have is now

April 18, 2011 at 1:07 am 2 comments

“Life was good once,” he moans.

I look around my yard, littered with broken toys and the broken hearts of bleeding patients. I look into the faces of my sweet girls and grieve this broken family[…]

And I choke it out soft, willing myself to believe, “Life is good now, sir. Life is good now.”

The corner of his face turns up in a smile. I have been cleaning out this burn for three weeks and it’s the first hint of joy I have ever seen from him. “Maybe.” He shrugs, “maybe now.”

“Sir?” I breathe deep, “now is all we have.”

and now is where we’ll praise Him.”

(go here to read the whole amazing post on Katie’s blog)

This concept of now has been popping up all over the place for me lately.  I read articles that talk about how easy it is to live too much in the past or the future and miss today; I read a Joan Didion essay for English class where she talks about the same thing.  I re-read Jim Elliot’s words to “let not our longings slay our appetite for living”. 

Jesus says not to worry about tomorrow.  And God says not to worry about the past (“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?” – Is. 43:18-19). 

I can fall into both of these traps so easily.  On the small scale, it’s not uncommon for me to wish to relive some particularly fun moment, or be sad today because that moment is over.  It’s sadly also not too uncommon for me to be worrying about tomorrow, whether that means writing a paper or being nervous about my first summer internship.

On a bigger scale, sometimes I wish my way out of seasons – I wish it could be last year again, or I could be a kid again.  Or I wish I could hurry up and be married already, just so this pesky season of not knowing would be over. 

And in all of these situations, I’m missing out on the gift I have right now.  Isn’t that tragic?  As Katie says, “Now is all we have.  And now is when we’ll praise Him.”

Elisabeth Elliot writes that “The important thing is to receive this moment’s experience with both hands.  Don’t waste it.”  And she also reminds me that if I reject this cross, whatever it is today – studying, loneliness, the daily small trials – I will not again have it in this world. 

God is working in me in this moment.  Not the past.  Not tomorrow.  He’s given me this moment to live, this moment to use for His glory, this moment to praise Him.  And I want to glory in this.  This moment, these joys, this cross: they are all I have been given.  I want to use them well, live them to the fullest, and enjoy every precious moment I can.

Life is too short to waste by worrying, about the past or the present.  (I know that’s a terribly glib thing to say.  Once you figure out how to live that, let me know!)

But on the lighter side: I’ve also decided that that means I should take advantage of everything I can; live these last two weeks of college to the fullest rather that worrying about the summer or something.  Therefore, I went mudsliding last night.  Probably the most uncharacteristic thing I’ve ever done.  (I don’t mind messes.  But I do mind getting dirty.)

My friends were going.  I was hesitant.  Amy said I could destroy her clothes.  I had Dana’s advice to “make memories!” ringing in my ears.  I remembered the vow I made when I was about ten, which was that I would never let things like looks spoil my fun.  (Which is why I jump in the pool after spending an awfully long time curling my hair). 

I went for it.  It was awesome.  I got thoroughly muddy and took two showers.  Although I still managed to stay cleaner than most of the other kids – Amy and several others wound up with mud completely covering their faces, whereas I just had the blotch I smeared on purposefully to “look more hardcore”.  ha!

Sometimes I surprise even myself.  And let me tell you, that makes life much more interesting.

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Entry filed under: adventures & misadventures, random nonsense, wisdom.

this is college: scenes from my life Five-Minute Friday: The Hard Love

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. singamelody  |  April 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Thank-you. That was something I most certainly needed to read just now.

    And I hope at some point I get to see pictures of this mud sliding adventure! 😛

    Reply
  • 2. toasty redhead  |  May 14, 2011 at 3:22 am

    I agree 100%

    Reply

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