Here And Now

Last week I wrote about not being able to see the future. This week I have been jolted back to the present, the here and now. It is too easy to look forward and be in such a hurry for the next thing that we miss what we are doing now. Or, the stresses of what we have been through in the past can become so loud that we are not able to be attentive to the moment at hand.

Beauty in the here and now or cursed work to be finished?

                           Beauty in the here and now or cursed work to be finished?

Last fall when my mom was dying, I began to understand a little better about being in the moment. In those circumstances I knew she was in transition from her worn out temporal body to her eternal one. I was keenly aware that I would not see her again in this life. It was a true gift to ‘walk’ with her in that season. it was one way for me to stop all the busyness I was addicted to. It was painful and beautiful at the same time. It forced me to refocus on what really matters.

Here I am, almost a year after her passing, right back in the mindset of busyness. I find it embarrassingly challenging to rake leaves, make a bed or prepare a meal without the attitude of: “When I finish this then I can do what is ‘meaningful.'”

Most of life is lived in the unexciting, repetitive, routine, ordinary, everyday, tasks  of life. Did our Creator design us for a life of meaninglessness? I don’t think so. So why do we rush over the ordinary as if they had no meaning?

The month of November holds my favorite holiday: Thanksgiving.

So, this month I challenge myself and I challenge you to begin or renew or reinforce the practice of thanking the One who made us for every detail of life. For example:

-Sitting in traffic “Abba, thank you that I have the means and the freedom to go where I want…and You are with me as I go”

-Clearing my yard of leaves (I live in the woods!) “Abba, Thank You for the beautiful trees and for the exercise I get when I rake and blow them.”

-When I make my bed, “Thank You that I have a bed to make, it looks orderly and beautiful when it is made. I have the satisfaction of accomplishment so early in the day and the blessing of climbing back into a well made bed at the end of a long day.”

Before even leaving my room in the morning my prospects for the day are much brighter with thankfulness in the moment than if I rush past the now. Will I even be truly present when I get to what I am aiming for?

I sang this old grace (to the tune of the Old 100th/Doxology) at camp when I was growing up. It came to me to share as one way to sing a prayer to pull us back to the here and now.

Be present at our table Lord,
Be here and everywhere adored.
These mercies bless and grant that we
May live in fellowship with Thee.

What helps you stay grounded in the here and now? I’m looking for tips=}

Andrea (Madden) Van Boven : I like to think I am a radical lover of Jesus, but I live in a house and pay bills and look like I fit in with respectable society, like most people. What goes on in my head and heart are hopefully the things that betray the look of "normal" that comes at first glance. I hope those things inside of me seep out to actions as well as words of hope and encouragement. I pray that these in turn will lead others to know the loving creator who knows us so intimately that he has a number for every hair on every head.

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