Here’s the short answer: I was practicing what I preach.
Here’s the longer answer: My plate filled up with both very hard things, like the deaths of two people who were dear to me, and with mechanical snafu’s, like the robbery of my laptop, the simultaneous breakdown of most of the equipment in my office, and the appearance of a large dent in my car. Also on my plate were the needs and desires of my children, who were making the most of terrific summer camps and their freedom from spelling quizzes and math worksheets to carpe diem, as they say (My kids don’t actually say that, but other people do). And I was tending to flowers and herbs and tomatoes and, more importantly, next door neighbors in need.
If you’ve spent more than two Sundays at CGS, you’ve heard me preach about staying present. God is happening here and now. God is revealing God’s faithfulness in this very moment. When life is very full, stick with it: Be there. That’s the gate to the kingdom of God.
I really wanted to do that this summer. Even though my cup was overfull with the changes and chances of life, I had faith (the conviction of things unseen) that there was holiness in all of it. So I chose to set aside things that I didn’t have to do, emails that didn’t have to be sent, housecleaning that didn’t have to get done. I wanted to be like Anna in the Temple, getting up every morning expecting the savior. She had to chose not to do a lot of things in order to be ready.
And wouldn’t you know it? God was faithful. Although this was a hard summer in many ways, it was beautiful in many others, and I was able to glimpse grace in the crevices.
The photo above is from a gift-of-an-afternoon I enjoyed last week. I escorted a group of kids to the Belmont Farmers Market, where they interviewed farmers. These girls asked these farmers, “What bugs help you in your work?” The farmers were surprised by the question but then went on at length about the ways spiders and ants and all sorts of creepy things nurture life. Yep: I get that now.