Treasuring Today

img_0579.jpgEach and every day is a gift.

What if it continues to be rainy and cloudy and miserable for weeks on end?  It’s a gift.

What if I lose my job and I don’t know how I’m going to make my next mortgage payment?  Still a gift.

What if my spouse cheats, the cancer spreads, my children fail, and I can’t see the purpose in any of it? (Ah, this is where faith becomes so important– ) This day too is a gift.  Are you treasuring it?

Still working on the concept of ABUNDANCE, I’ve realized that we also miss it when we’re tied up with worry about the past, complaining about our present, or freaked out about our future.  What if instead we took even a moment, every day, to just focus on the good, our growth, and to be grateful?

I know, I know, some of you are already thinking, “But I don’t have a moment!  or “I can’t afford to do that!” or “Then I would just be lying to myself!”  In actuality, it is the lies in our over-stressed, over-worked, over-stimulated culture that convince us we are somehow less than what we should be when every minute isn’t scheduled with plans and oh so important things to do…  We’re a fearful bunch, really, and we believe the lies that tell us we won’t be valued if we’re not constantly on the move, or that we’ll get bored when we take time out for reflection, or that only “weirdo, hippie types” and artistic people have the freedom to experience life this way.

A friend of mine has been talking about the beauty of leaving a little margin in our lives, and in a community he is working to create.  You remember margins?in the margin That space around the edges in books and papers that gave us room to interact with what we were reading and to form relationship connections that furthered understanding…

Imagine what a little life margin could do– We could actually be fully present and available when a friend, neighbor, child, husband actually wanted to go a little deeper in conversation, or needed some help and were reluctant to ask.  We could actually be aware and notice God showing up to bless us throughout the day– splashes of color in the dreary gloom, and the coolness of a shady tree when we have to stand in the heat.  We could be people who appreciated the gift of today.

Instead we run around like the proverbial hamster on a wheel.  Constantly checking our smart phones for emails, updates, appointments, and the like, we are scheduled to the max and regularly running on fumes.

And then, the unthinkable happens and we’re forced to STOP.  We dip into reserves we didn’t save, either in time or money (lack of margin again) to attend a funeral out of state.

Life is short.  We have no guarantees about tomorrow.  But in the right frame of mind and with gratitude, we CAN treasure the gift of today.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!

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Choosing to Wake Up!

Have you ever arrived at your destination only to realize you don’t remember driving there?  Have you ever spent so much time planning for a big event that you remember the to-do lists more than the actual day?  How much of our lives do we miss because we’re too busy or too pre-occupied to notice?  We can get so caught up in regretting our yesterdays and obsessing over our tomorrows that we lose sight of the gift of today! Think about it– when was the last time you went on vacation without checking your email or Facebook?  When was the last time you took a leisurely walk without your cell phone?

About a year and a half ago I wrote a sketch for Drawing Water about a couple of busy bees, and I’ve thought about them quite a bit over the last couple of days…

“You know how thingz are… I’m supervizing a dozen novices out there and I only have five eyez…add to that mapping dutiez, pollination schedulez, scouting assignments, and nectar transfers–let’s just say my dance card is filled for the seazon!”–from Buzz.  

While the message is far too relatable, it can be so hard to practice what you preach!  We fool ourselves into thinking this is just a busy season…”When I finish that next big project…” or “When the kids go back to school…” or “When I have some money in the bank, THEN I’ll slow down.  THEN I’ll be fully awake and present.”  But that’s a lie… THEN never seems to come because there’s always a new When

The reality is, our time here is short; we’re not promised endless tomorrows. There’s a speech Emily delivers in the third act of Thornton Wilder’s play, “Our Town” in which she painfully recognizes how many moments we waste–never really noticing, never really listening, never really experiencing the joy in them.  I’m just as guilty of this as the next person; I take so much for granted.  Even though I’m only working part-time from home, it’s amazing how busy I can get– thinking my productivity is so important, and all the while losing sight of today.  I half listen to my children & my husband when I’m making dinner or working on some creative idea or plan… In my sleep my thoughts are racing, and sometimes even my quiet time with God suffers because I have a hard time focusing on His presence when I’m not all there myself!

I don’t want to sleepwalk through my life.  I don’t want to miss out on any of it.  Maybe this busyness epidemic isn’t a state of necessary activity at all as the world would have us believe, but actually just a state of mind.

“There are risks in the field but I think it’s worth it…I mean I feel so alive–taking the time to smell the flowerz.  It’s like we’re closer to the Great Beekeeper out there, you know?”