The setting sun sets fire to my clothes, the edges of my sleeve shining gold. All the lights in the house are off, and these last rays steal in and rob patches of darkness (patches of the sink, the table, the floor). I stand at the sink washing dishes. I do my best thinking here, hands busily scrubbing and washing, methodically placing plate and glass in drainer.
I’ve been pulling at the threads of a thought. A thought about present-ness. Here-ness. And the more I pull at this, the more the ripples show themselves in everyday places. Being present is so important. Being here, in this place, where the lessons are.
A dirty plate holds heavy grit and I elbow-grease it off. All this tugging at the threads is making my daily rituals look a little threadbare. The time wasted away in cyber places, lost in the abyss, and spent for nothing. The time looking toward the future, the seasons to come, and missing the one I’m in.
It is so dangerous not to be present.
Transparency, clear through to the heart: Lately, I’ve been so caught up in what the next season will look like that I’m afraid I’m missing the one that I’m in. Our seasons change, sometimes quick lightening and sometimes slow rain. Either way, there are lessons to learn and seek here. Right now. And we don’t need the added pressure of trying to be somewhere we aren’t.
This absence from presence pulls my heart away from prayer and real listening. In the crazy and the chaos (or the dead calm quiet), the now, right here, we can “be still and know that [He] is God.” What other time than now should we come to our “ever-present help?”
Truth: I’m a new wife. I’m not a career woman. I’m not a mom. I’m not a college student. I am here, in this place, and I need to live here. Seeking someplace else only takes away from my time here.
Feet planted on the rug, I watch a single, small and perfect soap-bubble glide around the space before me. Its rainbow swirls move—kaleidoscopic—as it gently floats up and down before descending to the sink and quietly disappearing. Yes, be here, this very day.
When we live in a mirage, that shining marauding of reality, we can expect to miss out on God’s teaching. Isn’t this the place where God has put us? We don’t expect Spring in Winter. We wait out the winter; appreciate the wind and the bare trees. And so we seek the Son wherever we are, even when the clouds accumulate thick.
And when we’re waiting for the next season, when it’s just around the bend? Here’s a piece of hope for those of us who are straining to see around that corner:
This place is not pointless if it propels us toward God. No matter where we are.
It’s okay to be here: here in the waiting, here in the unbeautiful mess of dishes, here in the mundane madness, here in the trying to peek around the corner to see what’s next. I pile the last dish on top of plates and utensils and pans, flick the water away and dry them on the damp cloth down by my knee.
I want to joy in today. I want to be present.
So help us see You today, Eternal One, and embrace the path You have placed before us.