Last week Hurricane Florence made an impactful entry into the Carolinas. All week Hurricane Florence occupied our televisions, radio, conversations and mind. I kept waiting for the storm. I felt paralyzed and like I could not do anything else but wait for the storm to get here. I was getting frustrated and anxious as I waited. It was a very long week! Then it starts.
The winds pick up. The rain beats against the windows. The trees are dancing and swaying to the beat of the storm. My waiting for the storm is over. Now I start waiting for the next thing. When will the power go out? I know it’s coming, but when? Again, I feel paralyzed. I wanted to have a cup of coffee and do some reading, but I felt like I couldn’t. Shouldn’t I go ahead and at least watch the news or a television show while I can? I felt stuck. So I just went along with I felt like I “should” be doing while I waited. I stayed busy to ensure I was ready whenever the next anticipated thing happens. After the power goes off, I can quickly move onto anticipating another unknown and unplanned variable.
While waiting, I am missing the here and now. I am not present. I am anticipating and preparing for what is to come. My mind will not rest.
This made me think about a question I was asked several years ago. I came across it not too long ago in a notebook I had written in. I was asked what my favorite bible story was. My answer was not a “story” in the sense we think of bible stories. My answer was around the thoughts of getting to heaven. Being done with the mundane, everyday living I’m having to go through now. I would finally get to a place where things were enjoyable and simple. I could be free to live and love. It would just come natural once I was there. So, I wait. I go through my days anticipating this big event. Every day that passes is a day I can check off my list. Now, I’m not saying that I hate everything about my life and that it is miserable. But a lot of times I do go through the motions of living. I do the things that must be done. And I miss a lot. I know there is more to it than this.
I enjoy reading and listening to Emily P. Freeman. She’s an author from North Carolina. In her book Simply Tuesday she discusses Luke 17:20-21. It says, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” She poses the question “What if, heaven is simply one inch above the ground?” That means heaven is right here with us in our everyday moments! She discusses her own struggle with always looking ahead to the next thing. She says “That’s not always bad, but to be able to look ahead while also celebrating now is a delicate kind of art, to imagine what could be without discounting what is.”
This has my wheels spinning. So powerful and thought provoking. I think this is something I will be sitting with for a while. How can today’s to-do list look different if heaven is in my midst? I have a feeling it will change lots of things. God is here with me in the everyday moments whether I experience Him or not. Father, open my eyes, ears and heart to your love and grace in my everyday moments.
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