We have one brief shining moment. And this is it. Here and now.
Do you remember how easy it was to savor those endless moments of summer when you were little? A big black ant trying to carry some ponderous treasure several times its size would captivate us. We could lay in the cool grass watching clouds in the sky finding shapes of dinosaurs (and lions and tigers and bears). Impatient parents would ask if we hadn’t anything better to do. It was hard for us to imagine what in the world they were talking about. But soon enough, the languishing comes to an end. Jackie Paper no longer comes to visit Puff. We start growing up and put more value on future goals than on miracle moments. Eventually. worries about the future and regrets about the past consume us. Though, as any psychologist will confirm, something of the child remains. I’ve seen toughened men weep when they read or hear Rumi’s poem Red Shirt;
Has anyone seen the boy who used to come here?
Round-faced troublemaker, quick to find a joke,
slow to be serious.
Red shirt, perfect coordination, sly, strong muscles,
with things always in his pocket.
Reed flute, ivory pick, polished and ready for his talent.
You know that one.
Have you heard stories about him?
Pharaoh and the whole Egyptian world
collapsed for such a Joseph.
I would gladly spend years getting word
of him, even third- or fourth-hand.
Since some of that boy or girl lingers beneath our adult busyness, maybe God is trying to implore us to reach inside for something we thought was lost. Perhaps the truth we knew so well as children is a key to living life fully. For what we have done is finished, and what we might accomplish someday only dwells in the mist. Gordon Cosby, the beloved mentor of so many servant leaders taught me that all of eternity has conspired to bring us to this very moment.
Be quiet and think about his lesson. This sacred moment is the crossroad of time, space, and eternity. They coexist as marvelous works of creation. We certainly might not perceive it during painful and tragic situations. We might not even ‘get it’ on a vacation beach walk at sunrise. But during this one moment in time, taken from the perspectives of each living creature, contains every one of God’s brush strokes. Birth, death, love, hate, peace, war, anguish, and ecstasy are all happening here and now. And as Gordon Cosby said; “We have been waiting for you for a long, long time.”
It is at this crossroad, if we allow the child in us to speak of ants and clouds, that we will encounter Immanuel…God-With-Us.