Today I noticed the how satisfying it is to take a total wrinkle ball wad of cloth and make it clean and crisp and smooth. I kind of wish I could do that with my life. It feels like I’m doing more of thing where while you’re ironing out one wrinkle you turn around and magically you’ve ironed in a totally knew one. But I guess that’s kind of the point. I shouldn’t be trying to fix my life. I should be flexible and soft and tender and let God taking care of shaping me. You would think one of these days I would learn that.
I apologize that I didn’t get this posted yesterday.
Today I noticed how lovely it can be to care for living things. I was making the watering rounds so I knew every where I was supposed to water while Mom and Dad are gone later this month and at first I was impatient. I wanted to get on to other work and I sipped the hose from pot to pot. Then I realized I had to take my time cause the sudden burst or water was soaking some of the flowers leaving them a bedraggled mess. So I slowed down and suddenly, I began to notice things. The hot sun smiling down on my head, the contrast between the warm cement and the cold water on my toes, and the joyful heads of the flowers bobbing and smiling made me realize how very far off I was living. I moved back and forth between the flowers trying to give them the moisture they neede without drowning or attacking them and I had a thought. Perhaps all my work would be beautiful if I would slow down and live where I am.
Today I noticed the importance of being present with those around you. We visited my great aunt Judy on her deathbed today. I say we visited her, but we really visited her husband and children. We didn’t talk about much of anything important or remarkable, we even sat in comfortable silence several times. But we weren’t there to say things. We were there to be there. To acknowledge that even though this is common and sacred part of our lives, it is still hard. It is the earthly end of so much love and life and history. We were there to show them that we are here, we are available, and we care. We are bound together loosely in blood, tighter in community and culture, but most closely in common adoption. Their pain is our pain. It is times like this I feel very small, a tiny part in the great, big church. But the smallness isn’t frustrating or discouraging. It’s empowering to know I’m one of many tiny parts, and I have my specific job and part to play. But if I mess up, there’s so much grace and help, and I’m only a tiny part.
Today I noticed that world-worn middle aged men and nerdy teenagers seem to be the most frequent patrons of the Hardback Cafè in Hastings. There aren’t very many collared, Mennonite girls with whimsical leather sandals. But it is surprisingly full of the aforementioned crowd, especially for a Thursday afternoon. I wonder if they meet here regularly. I suppose it would make an interesting study to look at the loafing and leisure habits of nerdy teenagers and world-worn men in their 40s. I wonder what the best part of their day is? And the worst? People are dreadfully interesting. I wonder if the man deep in his laptop in the corner ever ponders his existence and feels small. I feel very small whenever I go to a cafè by myself.
I’m doing a ten day writing exercise. The requirements are that you must spend five to ten minutes writing every day, and you must begin with “Today I noticed…”
I will be publishing my ramblings unabridged and unedited hopefully every day. Here is day one:
Today I noticed that I really don’t understand people and I am unable to control myself or those around me. I want to do these great things and I want to help others do great things, but I can’t even make myself focus enough to do a little great thing, much less inspire someone else with the desire to. I need to not be bogged down by my failures and mistakes. I can’t get pulled into the vortex that is this little white rectangle (my phone). I can’t get sucked into the quicksand of inertia or shame. I need to take one tiny step today. Christine Caine said something on the Relevant podcast about having a proper mentality. If we have a picture of where we want to be in our minds and we look at where we are, nowhere near that ideal we get bogged down by shame and discouragement. Rather we need to see the ideal, head for it but focus on the little bit we can do right now towards accomplishing that. All the while realizing while we’re not there yet, we are moving forward and we are closer than we were yesterday. And cliche though it may be, it’s all about daily, giving it all to God and daily saying I’m not my own person. That’s what I noticed today.
Wild hair, light on our face,
Sun burned and bare legged,
Arms outstretched to the wind,
Emotion we can’t contain.
Cold nights, laughing at the stars,
Holding tight and letting go,
I am and we are.
Present–forgetful of past pain and future failures.
Empty wallets, full hearts,
Cannon-balling into the future,
Embracing uncertainty, and bright eyes wide open.
Someday we’ll slow down,
Someday we’ll get some sleep,
Someday we’ll build our houses,
But today we’ll simply be
Dead to cares and happy.
Young, Wild, and Free.
Rejoice, young man, while you are young…Banish emotional stress from your mind, and put away pain from your body; for youth and the prime of life are fleeting. -Ecclesiastes 11:9a,10 NET
The broad highway in the dark. The anticipation of what is beyond the headlights woos us on, rocketing ahead into the unknown. The steady stripes and shifting lights hypnotize and mesmerize. Sweet desolation steeps us in wistful emotion. The soul stretches into the darkness, rolling and reaching, growing large and breathing deep. It feels an inky depth and ponders immaterial fancy with sagacious gravity. For tonight, in this endless moment, we throw ourselves into the future, and rest our fate in the stars.