For ten seconds maybe, I just stopped and looked at the tree, bending in front of me.
My hand was on the door handle to the truck, but I didn't pull. I watched the wind tug sideways at the branches, like it was stretching out a bungie cord; the pine cones dangling there like Christmas lights strewn along the edges of a roofline.
I noticed that the wind was warm. I held on for another few seconds and saw the blue sky calicoed by gray and white clouds that were rushing to the North. For what felt like a camera flash, the sun appeared and was gone. Then, the wind dropped off and the tree branches were released from their strain against it.
It wasn't anything huge to see, but there was a tiny gasp of peace that was released into my heart. I don't know why I stopped and looked, but it helped me. It warmed me. It reset me. As I climbed into the driver's seat, I became aware that I was smiling.
It was just a moment. But in that moment I saw beauty in the world. I felt it. It was reassuring.
As I was driving away, I wondered how many moments like this do I miss? The needs of what's next always seem to be stealing the heart from what's right now. I've come to believe that there's only one person who can make a choice to reverse that trend in my life, and that person looks a lot like me.
I have been given a direction.
Jesus spoke about daily bread. (Matthew 6:11) This is the only time he uses this adjective in all of the gospel story...daily...But that was the kind of bread we were to ask for. Sustenance for twenty-four hours. As if that were enough to focus on. Now, I know that our calendars are full, and I'm familiar with the fail to plan, then plan to fail concept. I live by it. Yet, I believe that once the plans are made for our tomorrows we need to commit to being fully engaged in our todays and what they may hold. Somehow, we need to move away from the rush of busyness in order to encounter the peace and purpose of our moments today.
I want to hear Him speak to me on this day, in these moments, in accordance with His timing, not mine. I want to be effective in sharing His presence with those I meet, out of the overflow of my heart, not the hurriedness of my agenda.
We're told that our worry can't add a single hour to our life. (Matthew 6:25-34) Jesus also points out in that same passage that tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day...every rising of the sun and going down of the same will be enough for us to commit our focus to.
A favorite writer of mine, Bob Benson, put it this way
Today may be our lifetime. Today is what we have. We must not waste its time or its moments in the anticipation of tomorrow. I know there are values and necessities of preparation for the tasks and demands of a lifetime. I certainly believe in making plans for educating our children, for weddings, for retirement, and all the other issues that will confront us. But none of these are places where we will begin to live. We live now, today, and Jesus is saying, "Pray for this moment. This is the one."
I don't think that there is any more to add. I am convicted. I have no further argument.
Teach me Jesus, how to receive this life in the 24 hour parcels you have given me. Renewed, refreshed and ready for what comes with each rising sun.