I open my eyes to the darkness that envelops the room. There are times when I’m fearful of what lurks unseen. I’ve had too many nightmares to feel comfortable in the anonymity of the dark. I take a breath. It’s often in these moments, after sleep free of demons, that I am most in touch with the energy of the universe. There is no duplicity in the “Thank You God,” I say as I get out of bed.
I think back to a summer evening’s pre-COVID interfaith service, celebrating a family from Bangladesh—listening to a man tell the story of his journey to the United States and the very long road it then took for his wife and sons to join him. In my arrogance and shortsightedness, I sometimes forget how fortunate I am to share life with those I love. How sobering it is to be reminded of a different worldview. As I walk through my house, I am (for the thousandth time) aware of how much I sometimes take for granted—how easy it is to slip into the privileged life I lead.
A haziness hovers over my street. It reminds me of the dust created while cleaning grade school erasers in the 1960s. You can see through it, but it’s blurry. It’s a soft reentry into the awake time of the day. How often does haziness obscure my view of where I should be going—where I desire to be headed?
Each day, I rise with the desire to literally “rise up”—to be the best version of myself in each moment, to be in each moment. In that space, the significant subjects of life are heightened, and things that seemed so “important” just yesterday are trivialized. How often do we not live in this day— squandering it by only looking toward tomorrow or constantly reliving the past?
The moon and sun are now both visible in the sky. They tell me, “we work together—there is an ebb and flow to life.” I feel so very small and fragile in their presence. There is an ethereal glow, and for a moment, this world is completely still. I sit at my desk and drink my tea with intention, my glasses fogging up with each sip. How often am I “foggy” about life—not clearly seeing what’s important? How many times have I allowed things of this material world to cloud my vision, catapulting them to the top of the agenda while what matters most—all that is alive and of true value—played second fiddle to the less-than-necessary?
We sometimes have a nebulous sense that “something’s wrong,” but we’ve been caught up in it for so long that we lose the ability to identify what it is, so we continue down the same path. In our complicated, “too much” (activity, drama, stuff) realities, we forget that we are not the collection of the experiences or possessions we’ve had. We forget that we are God’s children—spirits of light and beauty and peace. So, I invite this day into my life—not to rush through it, not to jump over it, not to wish it away, but to be in it—to be in each moment. It is a gift. No minute beyond this one is guaranteed.
I want to be fully present; to be simple; to be whole; to be authentic.
I want to continually choose to be actively involved in the unfolding of life instead of racing through it, like a movie on “fast forward.”
I want to take the time (make the time) to drink in the beauty around me.
I want to come unbidden out of the fear and pain; to love fervently; to seek peace ferociously; to be bathed in the sunlight of grace.
I want to do this simply—not with fanfare or banging gongs but, rather, by sitting in the presence of God and just being.
Will you join me on this journey?
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