In the Disappearance of Today.

hope Hope.

I often wonder of tomorrow, when I am older and time runs beyond me, when my bone and muscle move much slower than my heart leads, when I have more space in each day for thoughts to circle.  Thoughts of how life will be for them and what life’s pressures feel like then.

I remind myself: they were created for that day ahead.

And it waits for them.

“Dad, do you think I can be . . .”  You fill in the blank because my little girls ask about them all.  My strong reply always echoes the same.  “Yes, you sure can.”

They will meander close behind me and stray in the distance as my daughters grow, get  older and begin to stand surer in life.  There will be many instances where I have little control.  I feel their strings pull a bit more as their day gets closer.  The truth is I have very little control over their course in life.  God has allowed my opportunity to reflect His glory and nature into their lives, but it is He alone who owns the days ahead.



there and someday.

“One day is worth a thousand tomorrows.” Benjamin Franklin

Now defines there.

Everyone wants to get there.  There, a place nestled away waiting in a future day.  When troubles have subsided and problems figured out and all that we need, we have.  What a glorious day when future arrives washing all worries aside and displacing every cursed moment!  All counted as well when we cross that line out of this moment grinding relentless and long into the next chapter of our lives.  Ease erases difficult and alleviates pains.  So we think and so we live for there and someday.

I strain through the day now to look ahead missing the details that are steps leading there.  Honestly, I don’t always want to be here now because being here isn’t always easy.

Book deadline, publisher to find, work projects due, blog schedule to keep to, etc., all floating around what truly matters.   I want to be there where things are better and resolved and inviting.

I find myself living this way.  I imagine the same holds true for you as well.

It is quite easy to let go of the day spoiling in familiar problems and nagging issues for something better ahead.

There is now, only matured and measured by days lived behind.  The settled idea of life ahead of us being better is the draw, but the reality comes crushing when days we live without seemingly getting one step closer only seem to pile high.

Two problems with getting to there.

The first and most telling of a person’s likelihood of actually reaching that day brighter in life, “What is there?”  Happiness swings unhinged, tossed always by circumstance and situations, by feeling, not love lasting and an idea of some glorious untouchable refuge waiting ahead.  “My marriage will be better when the kids are a bit older.”  Life will be easier when I get the promotion.”  In the well observed, ringing words of Christopher Wallace, ‘mo money, mo problems’.  If what your hands hold now do not give cause for happiness, lasting joy and satisfaction may very well always escape you, no matter the moment.  Life spinning in the day-to-day from one to the next all feeling the same.  All the while, hoping to get there.  Somewhere better.  A brighter day ambiguously floating in your heart.  That is the way to lose in life.  Living for there undefined.  Hoping to be rescued out of mundane circumstance, sinking today.  You must be working toward something defined.  Life is now.  Only so much can exist in the promise of something better ahead.

Now defines there.  What lies ahead relies much on how you live now.  Waiting will not get you there.  Wanting will not either.  There is found by those who live now walking toward something defined.  In each day, joy exists but often overshadowed by discontentment and wanting.  Many live with the illusion that today is not as worthy of living as tomorrow.  Waiting and wanting; living less, missing it all and never going to get there.  Not one day better is found by not living.  There and someday come to those consistent souls who push on through thick and thin and sinking moments with the sight ahead in view but not as worthy as now.  Life comes to those who live.

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:34, The Message)

the beholder.

“If we shield the canyons from the wind, the beauty of a new creation may never be gained.” Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

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Grief never goes away.  To be repetitively honest, I hate writing about it.  Pull the covers back waking to a day supposedly new but eerily much of the same.  Grief wears deep ruts into life and moments lived.   Sunken parts of life pushed in by the weightiness of loss and maybe more so, what is scattered and disjointed remaining hold water stagnating and aged.  Like a rut on a path pushed lower than leveled earth and dirt leading through day and life.  An old friend’s words, dust soft on window blinds, the quiet of night, the hustle of day.  Grief, the most consistently sensed thing in life.  Present though I rudely ignore.  It doesn’t matter.  It didn’t ask for permission.  It doesn’t knock when entering my house.  Grief dwells.  And in day and in night, I repeat.  Words, explanations, descriptions.  I whine and complain and struggle to be free, to be like I used to be.  It’s hard not being who you used to be or reaching for it.  Vacillating between you then and you now.  Memories and familiarity and tomorrow and foreign swing me back and forth.

Then and now. I am both.  I am neither. I am lost and I am found at the same time.

Grief will not go.  It demands attention and forces emotion provoking ugly and inviting the gross, inexpressible parts of me.  In places raw and undefined we must walk revisiting ground not yet completely grown together loose like a dirt filled hole.  Some days are strewn together like a string of lights hanging freely in the air glowing carefree and hopeful.  I look over my shoulder and think, “Wow, I really am standing a long way away from that darkest day!  I have indeed somehow moved quite far!”  With courage taller and stouter and braver then, even the night lights up lively.  I see it, full and changing but better and inviting.  Puzzle pieces troubling and unfit, joining rough edges together.  Miraculous.  Grace.  Happiness.  A bulb goes out in random order.  It’s untelling and unanticipating.  The air lit excited dims and cools.  And I remember the wound still agape.  The memories burn seeping out.  Life is more vacant leaving space for thoughts to roam.  It is here I realize grief never leaves.  Watching us move through each day spying for the moment, waiting for its turn to interact.  And I wonder if grief will ever leave or has it fused into our DNA so closely knit into the fabric of who we are, I am, indistinguishable from happiness and joyfulness forever filtering life?  I don’t know.  It is here now and looks to be fairly stationary and set.

I am neither convinced this is good or bad.  Maybe indifferent, in reality-ful and meaningful ways ...good ways that feel bad like a vaccine conditioning your body to adapting infections.

It leaves me weaker but strengthens me. I feel like a babbling fool unable to shut up about losing, the loser complaining about the conditions keeping him from the win.  But in my babbling, I learn new words that are not my own.  They’re hopeful and deeper than any disturbance rustling around inside.  So this is who I am unshielded from the wind drying death, carving deep lines into my heart.  A new beauty growing.  Creation of something, someone very much like me but a life and death difference of a person.

The new must come.  It will no matter.  We are forced in life to be newly growing and stretching into the unknown, the untrodden or newly withering drooping closer to the dirt that will one day cover us.  Life and death are always roads traveled.  One can be alive, while not fully, but dying in memories and regrets and mistakes.  And so it is as simple as this: push forward into the unknown or die slowly in the dirt familiar.

Life belongs to the beholder, the traveler, the one who does not let go of mercy’s long reach.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most Hight will abide in shadow of the Almighty.  (Amen) Psalm 91:1