Last week one of my nieces, who is turning 25, wrote me a message (facebook being the way I keep in contact with that generation of my family) asking for a contribution to a book she wants to write, called When I was 25.
She is gathering paragraphs on what was happening, where one was living, what one was feeling when 25 years old. Doing it made me realize just how rich my life has been – not always easy (in fact, at times downright painful) but rich, and full of meaning, which as the Italians would say (and you have to let Italian say it for itself) “non è poco!” (is not unimportant).
A few weeks ago I spoke at a conference for young people in Brisbane called Ignite
, on the theme of “From missionary to theologian: why mission needs theology”. It led me to explore the personal journey of past years, the underlying experiences and convictions that have led me to where I am. Once again, it led me to touch and taste the underlying convictions, the core experiences that have made me (for better and worse☺), who I am.
And both exercises, or experiences have me thinking how easy it is to underestimate our lives, to miss the important moments in the quest for the bigger ones. I have a wise coaster in my house that attracts my cup in pre-dawn moments as my brain reaches for coffee:
And I ask God to teach me to notice… to stop, to stay, to hold and taste the present moment, to let Him come into past ones and redeem them (the retroactive power of eternal life’s grace!).
I don’t always know how to navigate and negotiate the richness of life –my mind races after future visions as easily as it weeps for past hurts and wakes up in the brilliance of unexpected shared laughter...
So today I’m praying for awareness. And recognition, the capacity and habit of pausing to realize and hold what otherwise can get lost through overload… which will always lead to gratitude.
“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.”
Phil 4: 8
The preciousness of Time passing comes to mind…