With all the smart talk of the importance of being present, I still find it difficult to be in the moment.
As I've aged, I'm certainly more aware, more thankful for the moments passing. Yet, I still fight anxiety because I know the moments are fleeting. Like am I not getting the most, or, worse, wasting time? It's the end of a delicious steak dinner, and I'm wondering if I rushed it, not savoring its essence. Or, worse, not fully appreciating the time and attention given to the recipe, not appreciating the imagination of the creator chef, me all-consuming and insatiable.
I've noticed the passing of many great people over the past year. Their remembrances are grand, like parades or simple short blurbs in the local journal. In either case, it seems their faces fade too quickly. The world turns. All of that work, striving, trying to please - honored by signature remarks. And gone.
I sit with a group of esteemed professionals talking through a book about living intentionally. We all want significance. It's not as much about the story we're writing, it's about why we're writing in the first place. These lives all matter.
For years, my wife and I would take our kids to the pool and look longingly at the parents sitting in reclining chairs reading leisurely, their children off. This year was the first year that when we made our first visit to the pool, our kids were gone and we were left sitting quietly. We could read, talk, or do whatever we wanted. I wondered where the time had gone.
I've spent too much time, I reckon, thinking about what's ahead and what's behind. Forging along without regarding or holding too tightly to the tide going low. Not enough time simply being. Here. Now.
I sat in a backyard concert tonight listening to a future-star Jeff Campbell. A lyric struck me. "I'm me because of you."
I am me because of God's saving grace. He's whisked me from the mire, standing me straight again and again for something I don't yet see clearly. Purpose. I am me because of my wife. She's summer and sun and light in my darkness. I am me because of family. Friends. Paths crossed that seemed without regard, but significant.
It's all we can do, I suppose. Appreciate the now. Figure out our why. Understand why we're who we are, becoming. Our legacies are there, in the story, ripples of eternity in each conversation, in the moments. I pray we see them and know that He is doing more than we could know or imagine. Hope.