So. I had this moment…
The treadmill, gaining speed like the little train going nowhere, transported me to the recently located book shelves in the garage. In seconds, the years of Tom sitting for hours, thinking deeply as he studied his books, rushed over me. It was as if an entire lifetime scene opened before me, and I squealed in loud anguish, “But I wanted forever…”
Now, the shelves set, anchored by other shelves with more books, in an unused, unavailable place in the garage waiting for the renovation of a reading room. That morning, they were in the right place for a vision of forever…
It was one of those surreal moments… whispered words shouted above the walking machine, “Today is forever, Barb.”
Today is forever… tears came immediately as I realized this truth. I have this moment; I have today, and it is forever. (It seems I am learning this truth over and over, as evidenced by my blogs. I guess I am a slow learner, or a fast ager!)
I have lived this thought daily these last weeks. Googling this idea, I found one photography shop named… Today Forever Photography. Isn’t that awesome? But are pictures and photos really forever? What happens in a flood or a fire?
It was William Saroyan who penned, “In the end, today is forever, yesterday is still today, and tomorrow is already today.” I have to think about this statement from My Heart’s in the Highlands of 1939, but perhaps Saroyan understood living in the moment of today.So long, I have relished in the moment of Now… the reason for this blog title years ago… A Journey to Now… life found in the moments. But these days I falter and fear more than I delight in the days. It is easier to moan about China’s hypersonic missile, circling the earth, than to joy in the singing of birds.
That morning‘s vision of Tom engrossed with his books was a sweet reminder that today is forever. This moment I hold in my hand, this moment… is forever. We are not promised tomorrow, it is already today, so “I will rejoice and be glad in this day.” Psalm 118:24
A friend shared just two days ago of her neighbors’ tragic situation. Their son, his wife and two very young girls were in a car accident. The girls survived with no injuries; the mother was killed and the father has had to learn to walk again. My friend’s neighbors are devastated as life is no longer the same; currently their son and the girls are living with them. The moments before the accident are forever.
Each one of us is vulnerable to life happening… every day, and herein is the reason we live this moment… it is forever. Never should we live in worry and expectation of the what if’s; we live in the current moment, celebrating it as forever.
… because it is.
Solomon is considered a wise man; he spent many words speaking of a meaningless life in the book of Ecclesiastes, defining it as a chasing after the wind when life is not centered on God. Three times he repeats this concept of being happy, doing good, eating and drinking, finding satisfaction in all its toil. This is a gift of God, he writes in chapters three, five and eight. Basically one finds joy in his work and life as he lives in the moment with God as his center. “He seldom reflects on the day of his life because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.” Chapter 5:20
This happens as ‘today’ is lived in the knowledge of forever. Impossible, you say? Try living with this thought, repeating it out loud any beautiful moment or perhaps, sad moment, of your day. Today is forever…
Truman Capote writes of an incident from his childhood in A Christmas Memory… a day with a friend flying kites and lying in the grass, and their happiness is amplified in the moment: “’My, how foolish I am!’ my friend cries, suddenly alert, like a woman remembering too late she has biscuits in the oven. ‘You know what I’ve always thought?’ she asks in a tone of discovery, and not smiling at me, but a point beyond. ‘I’ve always thought a body would have to be sick and dying before they saw the Lord. And I imagined that when He came it would be like looking at the Baptist window: pretty as colored glass with the sun pouring through, such a shine you don’t know it’s getting dark. And it’s been a comfort to think of that shine taking away all the spooky feeling. But I’ll wager it never happens. I’ll wager at the very end a body realizes the Lord has already shown Himself. That things as they are’—her hand circles in a gesture that gathers clouds and kites and grass and Queenie pawing earth over her bone—‘just what they’ve always been, was seeing Him. As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes.’”
How content to live every day prepared to leave this world with today in our eyes. Relationships would take on sweeter meanings; our eyes would ‘see’ differently; forgiveness would be easier; our words would be spoken more gently…
… today is forever, and this is a gift… today.