“Didn’t we just do this?” I asked the back of my husband’s head, not sure if sleep had overtaken him.
“H-m-m?” he responded, hesitantly, because I am a free flowing, conversational, force to be reckoned with. A seemingly innocuous question, blurted from my nimble lips, can evolve into a discourse on anything under the sun.
“Weren’t we just here in these same positions, whispering to each other ‘goodnight’?”
No answer, only deep inhalations mocking my insomnia with sounds of slumber.
I understand that time is methodical, weatherproof, and constant, but lately I could swear that when I blink on a Tuesday my eyes open up to a Thursday afternoon. “Where is Wednesday?” I marvel, while stuffing my son’s feet into shoes that fit him perfectly 15 minutes ago. “What happened to March, for that matter?” It hits me hardest in the evenings, when I sink into a still warm pillow wondering if I ever really left this bed at all, cringing at my similarities to tumbleweed blown forth by a gusty wind, to grass withering up in anonymity.
This can’t be right, I’m sure of it. Huge chunks of life skipped over and wasted are bound to make me shudder in the end. I have stacked my days like building blocks, piling one upon another to construct a mythical future of my dreams. What a hindrance it would be to examine each brick before moving ahead to the next one. So I throw them on, slap them on, as fast as I can manage inspired by a fairy tail conclusion. But nobody knows what the weather might bring, when lightning may strike us down. It would sure be a shame to have labored so intensely on a fantasy never to be realized. If only it were possible for each and every brick to contain inherent worth all on its own.
“The wise thief,” we sing at Holy Friday Matins, “didst Thou make worthy of Paradise in a single moment, O Lord;” a single moment to transform a doomed man’s destiny. If I thought my soul were on the line maybe I would view the 86,400 seconds in my day as a little more worthy of seizing. If I thought I’d be held accountable for the millions of moments I’ve let slip through my fingers, I might tremble with shame and regret. If I took my faith more seriously, I would burst into each new morning, wringing out of that brick every possible opportunity to repent and express my gratitude.
“I wish that it was Friday… If only it were summer…” Let’s face it, I will never be satisfied. And thank goodness for that, or I might exchange my hopes for acceptance. “Give us this day our daily bread,” we pray. Just enough to keep us focused on the present, where decisions on life, love, God, and salvation are rife with enduring significance, where we meet the Holy Spirit in our minute-to-minute choices to either serve Christ or ourselves. Oh, the miracle of a sunrise! Oh, the grace of starting over, waking up to a clean, blank, slate! Finally, there is hope for a taste of true contentment, in slowing down and surrendering selfish ambitions. I am tired of the running. I am weary from the building of earthly kingdoms destined for destruction. This day is a perfect day for standing still.
“You are a great father,” I whisper to my husband, in the darkness of yet another night. Because I appreciate him with all my heart, and this day I want for him to know that. I want to seize a moment before it’s gone. It is time to take them seriously, my destiny, my faith, my choices, because one never knows what the weather might bring or when lightning may strike me down. In the blink of an eye I will step into eternity, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on my soul.”
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