In a review of the writing of George MacDonald, the 19th century writer who inspired C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L’Engle, Publishers Weekly had this to say: “He discovered the work of God in the mundane events of every day, which he dubbed the ‘holy present,’ and this ideology infuses his work.”
It seems I'm in good company (for the most part) in the life long process of seeing every moment as a gift. On a recent Sunday afternoon I found some peace and perspective on that journey. Would you care to join me?
My soul takes deep breaths as we float into the holy present.
I feel my lungs, my heart swell, breathing in and in and in, trying to inhale the stunning quiet of the lake.
My soul says, “Pause, please. Every moment is a gift.”
We float, surrounded by stillness that I think perhaps I could reach out and hold in my hand, if only my hand were big enough. Instead, the stillness reaches out and holds me.
On the water’s surface – floating splash of leaf color, delicate feather.
It is, in the whole of each moment, an afternoon of remarkable beauty.
And such a place to pause…
How silently a canoe can drift along, (Is my partner right, it’s the world’s quietest mode of transportation?)
We manage to float past a basking turtle…no splash?
I feel a little surge of sadness and note how subtly my thoughts shift away from the gift of this moment, as though the certainty of pending autumn should dampen my joy in the holy present.
I see a bench high on an overlook and think – “Oh wouldn’t it be nice to be sitting up there.” Again, I rein in my thoughts. No. If I were to climb that hill and pause on that bench, when a canoe came into view I would likely think, “Oh wouldn’t it be nice to be drifting down there.”
I will resist insidious, creeping discontent.
Living in the holy present is harder than I would have imagined.
Sky hues morph to pale lavenders and pinks. No clouds tonight.
We watch the silent color show across a lake gone still.
deep thankfulness for this interlude,
praise for ordinary wonders,
appreciation for the opportunity to do life together.
(Oh, so glad for a partner who didn’t want to spend the day indoors watching football!)
We won’t ever have the chance to see this sunset again.
No one will.
we would have eyes to see the value that surrounds us.
We’re the beneficiaries of the moment.
(Jamie George, Poets and Saints, p. 87.)
We're the beneficiaries of the moment.
Every moment is a gift.