Until there’s not.
“Time is for dying in a thousand ways, so why be afraid of dying when a kind of dying could come all the time? Live every day like you’re terminal. Because you are. Live every day like your soul’s eternal. Because it is.” (Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way)
We spend so much of our life in the getting there.
Getting to bed time. Getting to the weekend. Getting to summer break. Getting to Christmas. Getting to the perfect weight. Getting to that just right moment when everything will fall into its tidy space. Within lines that we have drawn for ourselves and in doing so, replaced contentment with what we have for the longing of the have nots.
How often do we mutter, there’s always tomorrow.
I find as I get older, and as I force myself to pause in the midst of the going on, that I have for quite some time been neglecting ‘the along’ of my life.
The spaces, the lingering moments, the unexpected and what sometimes feels like untimely pieces of days or weeks or months, that make up my life.
The life that I am living. The life that I am dying.
On a drive to my parents house I confided in my husband that there are moments where I find myself asking,
What is the point?
If our permanent residence is home with Christ, why all of this.
I know the answer, or at least the answer I’ve found a lot of warmth and light in. That without Christ, without the hope that cups the entirety of our heaven-homesickness, the all of this would be far too great to bear.
Jeff rubbed my shoulders as he always does, and reminded me that there is beauty in this still. He didn’t say beauty, but that’s what I’d compare it too.
That our need for Christ is beautiful.
That our aching holds a redemptive quality.
That the along isn’t meant to be missed.
That our along is also paving the getting there.
There to Christ, or at least that’s the hope when we place the overwhelming going on in His hands.
The aim of getting there is such a temporary resolve with recurring disappointment.
I find myself, and my friends, often stuck in habitual patterns that feed the getting there.
Nourishing it really, and in turn starving ourselves of the joy in the along that is appointed just for us.
But I’m learning, and re-learning,
there is time.
Stop shaking it off your shoulders, stop rushing it to its next home base, stop blinking your eyes shut tight to miss or avoid or deny it.
Stop running from the time
set for you.
Are you cupping time, drinking it up, letting it seep into all of the corners of your heart and memory and mind?
As I laid my oldest down for his nap today he asked to hold ‘his baby brubby’. And as I laid his 20 lb baby brother next to him in bed, they both erupted into giggles and I wept.
The heavy-chested, lump in your throat, overwhelmed by gratitude and humility and too much all at the same time kind of wept.
I wept because one day they won’t need me.
I wept because one day they are going to face some really hard in the all of this.
I wept because I realized in that moment how much of life I’m rushing away.
In that minute, rushing them to sleep so that I could pee alone and then get as many silent minutes in as I could at my work space.
Why do I do this?
Why do we do this?
William paused in his giggles and said, as he always does, “snuggle mama?”
And I crawled right in between them like a mama-baby sandwich and sang “Dino Farm”, which in the Morris home means “Old McDonald Had a Farm…”
When you have children, I’ve come to believe that time is multi-dimensional, and I’m starting to see all of its aspects.
But in the along spaces I want to write this and remember this and tell it to you too so that in turn I’m telling it to me.
There is time to snuggle your children.
There is time to see their tears and calm their chaos. There is time to hush the yelling and to say yes to their “helpfulness” even if more of a mess is made. There is time to put down the work and to read the stories and to make up the stories and to kindle imagination.
But beyond children, there is time for people and the earth and face to face relationships. There is time to make the phone call and to write the letter and to set up coffee dates and to break bread between families. There is time for game nights and laughter and praying with hands interlaced beyond what is immediate.
There is time to brew the coffee and pour the cream and drink it hot and hear the crinkle of a new paper-bound page turning.
There is time to dig deep into the Word of God and study and learn and grow and know conviction wrapped in gracious humility.
There is time to pray. Alone and together. In quiet and out loud.
There is time for tidying and cleaning up and getting your fingers pruney with dishes stacked high, just as there is time for leaving it and going on an adventure, even for just an hour of a window.
There is time to know the smells you love and to share the smells you love and to know the favorite smells of other people.
There is time to meet with people in actual knowing.
There is time to give and there is time to be given to.
There is time to spill, there is time to hold.
There is time,
Until there’s not.
Let’s get on to the along. I’m with you.