A Time For Everything

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
……….He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

Sometimes we experience time in a way other than it’s passing…..other than the counting of days and hours, minutes and seconds. As Frederick Buechner puts it, “a time we mark not by its duration but by its content.” Instead of measuring it by the clock we measure it by what happened within the time. A good time. A difficult time. A time of celebration or a time of sorrow. And sometimes a most holy time.

The holiest moments happen at times and in places we least expect them. We don’t create them, can’t plan for them and if we’re not careful….we’ll miss them.

Like a few days ago in the hallway of a hospital, where, without meaning to, several showed up at the same time to see a man we love. To show him we care and to let him know we love him. We took turns going into his room to hold his hand. To see his face and let him see ours. Back in the hallway we catch up with those we don’t get to see often. We give hugs and share tears. And we pray.

Sometimes we don’t realize how significant that kind of time is until years later. Like conversations with a new friend at a new job.

I hope Lyle knew what his time meant to me. I worked with him for a year or so. I came into the job knowing little about the construction business, unsure of myself and wondering if I was going to make it. He was patient and kind as I learned. Lyle was easy to talk to and we often had good conversations about things he or I happened to be thinking about. He had profound thoughts on life and was as happy to share them as I was to listen. Lyle was an attentive listener and was the only person I worked with to know about my writing for a long time. He encouraged me to keep writing.

These are gifts…..these sacred moments. And they may not look like what you’d expect.  They come in a conversation. An unplanned gathering. A planned one too. During your quiet time or in the middle of a crowded restaurant. They happen at home, in the forest, on the mountain, at work, in a traffic jam, in a hospital, or in a stable. Holy moments are given and stay with us after the passing of days and years because they change us forever.

As we gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ let us remember and cherish that most holy moment and like the shepherds, “Let us go over……and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” Luke 2:15

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.    Luke 2:19

And like Mary, let us treasure these things and ponder them in our hearts.

Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and yours for 2018.

 

Photo by Josh Boot on Unsplash

Something More

“Something perfectly new in the history of the Universe had happened. Christ had defeated death. The door which had always been locked had for the very first time been forced open.”  C.S. Lewis, Day 47 in Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter

Easter Sunday has come and gone. The season of Lent is over but my journey of reflection continues with the daily readings from the devotional. I’m in the “New Life” section of the book now.

Frederick Buechner writes on Day 52:  “In the end, his will, not ours, is done. Love is the victor. Death is not the end. The end is life. His life and our lives through him, in him. Existence has greater depths of beauty, mystery, and benediction than the wildest visionary has ever dared to dream. Christ our Lord has risen.”

God has something more for us. But it’s not out there somewhere. It’s not tomorrow or in a few years or decades from now. It’s not when you finally have the family you’re praying for. It’s not only when your marriage gets better or when the cancer is gone or when the kids behave. It’s not just when you’re free from the addiction. It’s not only when you’ve reached your goal or when you’re living your dream.

It’s here and now.

It’s in the everyday mess of your life. The laughter and tears and everything in between. It’s in the middle of your battle. When you’re fighting for faith and trying to find joy. It’s in the hard work of reaching your goals. It’s the crying out to God when you don’t understand. It’s when you’ve conquered and when you’ve failed. When you go from feeling all is right in your world to feeling it’s hopeless. It’s when you fall and get back up. And it’s when you have no strength left to get back up.

He’s the God of your every day. Right there with you in the midst of your routine and obligations. Because “what God began, God will not abandon.” Madeleine L’Engle, Day 56

Something more is here and now.

“Those who live victoriously, though they wait in great hope and expectation for the final triumph of God’s grace, live even more in present experience of what that grace in Christ can do in their lives here and now. ‘Today shalt thou be with me in paradise’ is no idle promise for an indefinite future but a simple statement of what Christ can and will do here and now if we put our trust in him and open our lives to his presence and his power.”      Howard Hageman, Day 50

 

 

Now

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Right now.

I’m excited and nervous and ready to be there.

But I’m here. Now.

I will run my first Spartan Race tomorrow morning so I’m full of anticipation.

The best thing I can do now is to be all here right now and enjoy it.

Take it in. The excitement and the anticipation of the race. The wondering if I’m prepared. The uneasiness in my stomach. All of it.

That’s all we can do with now. Be here. Be in it and all in it.

I can’t be there yet so I will be fully present here now.

But how many times do I let now pass me by….waiting for tonight or tomorrow or next year….or even worse regretting yesterday or last week or 5 years ago.

And I miss it. The moment.

Now.

It’s gone.

We all have now. Right now. And all of the nows together will make our lives. And each one of them is unique….there’s not another one like it.

The average life will have over 2,200,000,000 of those. That seems plenty until you’ve already experienced over half of them.

I don’t want to miss them.

I’m going to treasure all the moments I get…….every now I can.

The ones when one of my children makes me laugh. The ones I get when driving to work and a favorite song comes on. A beautiful sunrise, a great cup of coffee, a vivid dream.

The ones when I’ve learned or tried something new. The ones when I find out I can do more than I thought I could.

The sweet ones when my husband pulls me tight and hugs me longer.

The late night talks with my children, the early morning ones too. The talk with the neighbor because we were working in our yards at the same time.

The ones when I understand something or find something I thought was lost.

The victorious one when I cross the finish line tomorrow will be a very special moment but the drive to the hotel tonight will have some good ones too.

But right now…….

I’m going to savor the “I can hardly wait” feeling.

“So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 ESV

 

In response to the Daily Post’s Discover Challenge Here and Now.