(Written last week while on vacation.)
From The Screwtape Letters: Screwtape explains: Our business is to get them away from the eternal, and from the Present. With this in view, we sometimes tempt a human (say a widow or a scholar) to live in the Past. But this is of limited value, for they have some real knowledge of the past and it has a determinate nature and, to that extent, resembles eternity. It is far better to make them live in the Future . . . In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time — for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays . . .To be sure, the Enemy wants men to think of the Future too — just so much as is necessary for planning the acts of justice or charity which will probably be their duty tomorrow. The duty of planning the morrow’s word is duty; though its material is borrowed from the future, the duty, like all duties, is in the Present. This is now straw splitting. He does not want men to give the Future their hearts, to place their treasure in it. We do. His ideal is a man who, having worked all day for the good of posterity (if that is his vocation), washes his mind of the whole subject, commits the issue to Heaven, and returns at once to the patience or gratitude demanded by the moment that is passing over him. But we want a man hag-ridden by the Future — haunted by visions of an imminent heaven or hell upon earth — ready to break the Enemy’s commands in the present if by so doing we make him think he can attain the one or avert the other — dependent for his faith on the success or failure of schemes whose end he will not live to see. We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow’s end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy , but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the future every real gift which is offered them in the Present. - The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The adoption process has been a training ground for me. It has been the best and hardest growth experience for me thus far. Patience? Um, I thought I had some before, but it has taken years of being in the process, stopping the process, and waiting to be in the process again and now waiting to bring our daughter home to truly gain an appreciation of the Patience and Resting in Him that God is calling me to everyday. And, now, God is teaching me to live in the moment. To learn to be fully present in the moment I am in.
And this is a difficult thing to learn when all you want is the moments you are in to fly by so that you can seem to time travel to the future date and time when you have your daughter in your arms and the whole family together.
But, God does not call me to focus on the future. He does not want me to live there or even live in want of the future. He does not wish for me to long for future moments. And He does not want me to squander the current moment, my current place seeking escape through the internet; stretching out hoping to be in a different place. He has placed me right where I am, in this very specific moment for a reason. To love on my kids a bit longer. To walk down the road, hand and hand, with my oldest before the moment is gone and he is “too old and too cool” to hold his mother’s hand. It is to kiss my husband a little longer. Smile just a bit bigger. Making sure that each moment I am with them is just as important as that “Gotcha moment” I long for. That moment I long for will come and go, but the present moment is always with me. God is always with me in the here and now.
The clock ticks slow. I hear it for what it is: good and holy. Time, what God first deemed holy above all else. Thank God for time, and very God enters that time, presence hallowing it. True, this, full attention slows time and I love the full of the moment, right to the outer edges. But there’s more. I awake to I AM here. When I’m present, I meet I AM, the very presence of a present God. In His embrace, time loses all sense of speed and stress and space stands so still and . . . holy. Here is the only place I can love HIM. - Ann Voskamp
It is ironic that this is the lesson He has me working on right now. Live in the moment. At a time when it is so easy to get lost in the counting of days until we meet our daughter, until the boys start another year of school, or getting lost in a to-do list that cannot be done today.
“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34
We are on vacation. So perfectly timed. Certainly not my timing, but His. He knew what I needed, when I needed it; to grow more in this lesson of living in the moment. We have movement in our adoption process. Others on the same path as us, same timeline, are filling out visa applications. And I am running to the beach and searching for sea shells with my boys.
We are still on vacation. We were supposed to go home today, but we decided one more day was necessary. Just two days ago, I was lamenting the fact that we weren’t home. I wanted to go home. I openly said that to Pete.
“You know you cannot bring her home any faster if we go home.”
Oh, yes he did say that. Oh, yes, an irrational part of me was thinking that. Somehow, if I were home, time would go by faster. Felicity would be in my arms sooner.
But, that is not what God has been whispering to me all this time.
Live in the moment. Be present. Here and now. That is where He wants me.
And this vacation has been a testing ground for that. I am sure that is why our LOA came while on vacation. How would I respond? Would I get lost in the email attachments of “What is next?” or would I heed the advice of our Social Worker who said those things could wait until after we returned home. I am happy to say that I have not opened the several attachments sent to me at the beginning of last week. Haven’t even looked at them. There are moments I fail and I seek solace in one of my adoption groups on Facebook. But, I have sought His face every day. I have sought Him in my family. I have looked for Him in the beauty of nature that surrounds me. I have been aware of the breaths I take and have breathed just a bit deeper in moments to really feel the moment. Because, there is no better place to be, but with the Great I AM in the present. Here and now.