Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today

I woke up this morning with the thought of being involved in every moment of today. I haven't gotten dressed yet. Or made my bed. Or brushed my teeth. So, by all measurable American standards, I'm failing miserably so far. But I'm pretty sure it was a noble thought nonetheless. I'm beginning to think that this is the key to just about everything, and this is the way God wants us to live our lives, every minute of every day; and, thus, why it's so darn difficult to do. I've yet to figure out exactly how to do that and what that's supposed to look like in my every day life. But I think I'm onto something, and when I figure out all those details, I'll let you know what I find out.

Now, usually when you hear someone talking about this kind of stuff, it's in some context of getting you to be more productive. Perform better. Do more stuff. Contribute more. It can come across as some kind of heavy handed manipulation tactic.

I'm not talking about any of that.

No, what I'm speaking of is so much simpler. Almost, too simple. So simple that we might just miss it if we're not careful.

What I am talking about is being more attentive to those around you, whom God has given you. To whom you've been given. Staying connected. Tuned in. Living in the moment. Listening to the people who are talking to you. Looking them in the eye. Not daydreaming about where you'd rather be or what you'd rather be doing, but being connected with where you are and appreciating it. Appreciating them.

The God of the Bible is known as the Great I Am; not I Was or I Will Be. But I Am. I Is. I Be. Today. Here. Now. I guess this is why people with terminal illnesses often obtain such a clear, razor sharp perspective. They know their time is limited. Time is not a someday or one day, because someday and one day are not promised to them. What they know for certain is that today belongs to them. Today is what they have. And I think that this is where God lives.

Today. I will hear God's voice and not harden my heart.

Today. The day God has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Be. Live. Breath. Connect. Laugh. Love.

Now, I'm gonna go brush my teeth.

...So I think it must be true - that when you pray, you are not starting the conversation from scratch, just remembering to plug back into a conversation that's always in progress.--Anne Lamott, Plan B
What are some of the things you do to help yourself stay connected? Tuned in? Please share.

5 comments:

shannon said...

I just focus on the feeling of the moment- I feel it. It sort of vibrates and it all comes together around me. it really works for all the spaces of the day that might otherwise be considered boring (like, I think it's easier for house wives like ourselves to do it because we have so much training). I focus on the grain of the wood walking up the stairs- I see the way Cavan decides to draw a crook in his line- I see Nora's cheeks blush-- the way the cat sits waiting for his food-- the golden color of the onions as they cook--The thing that can interrupt this zenness is something like running late or not being able to find the other shoe or tripping over the cat or a whiny crying but this is when it is most important. If I focus on that moment and remember that my destination can wait, it's all okay. Like breathing. Just breathe.
Thanks for uniting this feeling-- for acknowledging our duties and meditations as mothers, as humans, as livers and God's works of art.

Amy said...

I feel ya. I try to remember the difference between what's "urgent" and what's "important". Usually the stuff that seems urgent is not really what's important. Sometimes we actually do have to get the urgent stuff done, but if we can remember what's really important while we're doing it (loving, focusing on, and serving those around us), it keeps us from freaking out.

And on a practical note, I always try to remember that most housework and chores can wait. I try to keep the laundry going and the kitchen functioning on a daily basis, because those 2 chores, left undone in a family of 6, can quickly get out of hand and make my life miserable. Other than that, it can wait. The dust can pile up, the beds can remain unmade, the floors unswept - all of these things can be done LATER - it doesn't even mean it'll be harder to do when I do get around to it. It just means that my house might not be spotless, but I've realized that my kids and my husband could not possibly care less! What they want is me and my attention. I can clean the house all day every day when they're all gone (which, by the way, won't be too long from now - time is flyin').

Angela, I think you(and Shannon) hit the nail on the head - just being in the moment, in the now, paying attention to the details without forgetting the big picture. At the end of the day, if we've loved well(and gotten the laundry and dishes done), :) we can rest easy knowing that we've done what's important. Thanks for the reminder!

Tony said...

Great post, Kiddo. I don't have much to add right now but I thought the post was dead on. BTW, it's good to see you blogging again.

Erin said...

Love it! It's so true - and very important for everyone, but especially mothers. I have felt often that God just wants me to show love to my kids. If I show love to them, then I have been successful that day. I woukd write more, but my life is demanding that I be in the moment RIGHT NOW!

holly said...

this is the moment!