Have you ever said one of these? I can’t wait until the baby is sleeping through the night. I can’t wait until she is walking or he is potty-trained. I can’t wait until he has graduated. I can’t wait until Christmas. I can’t wait until vacation. The weekend can’t come fast enough. The list goes on and on and on… I had a child with a tracheostomy for 18 months. I used to say I couldn’t wait until that trach vanished, but, alas, upon its removal I turned the big 4-0.
Recently, I heard Dennis Prager on his radio talk show responding to a caller who asked him if he couldn’t wait until his cruise. His response went something like this, “You know, I am sure that when I get on that boat I will enjoy the cruise and what happens on that boat, but I am living today. I am excited about my life today, and I am engaged in what happens today.”
The next week I took my special boys to see the movie A Dog’s Purpose. Now you have to understand, I am not a dog fan. Even though our family has owned multiple dogs during my 35 years of marriage, I was not a happy camper when cleaning up dog diarrhea and vomit in addition to cleaning up after nine children. Once, after I loaded all nine in our van to rush off somewhere, I returned to my bedroom to get something. Upon entering my room I spied a 12-inch diameter puddle of dog diarrhea on my almost white carpet – from a dog that wasn’t even supposed to be in the house. That dog was consistently on my hit list. I dreamed of sneaking him off to the pound and then at suppertime casually asking the family where the dog was.
(Spoiler alert coming)
Despite my dislike of dogs, I came out of that dog movie with tears in my eyes and with encouraging words for my family to see it. I got past the reincarnation bit in the movie and simply appreciated the dog’s interaction in each family he was born into as well as his search for his purpose while he speculated on the relationships and his role in each family. At the end he concluded his purpose was — “Be here now.” In each life he just had to “be here”, and with the “being” he saved lives and provided companionship and affection; he initiated as well as helped restore human relationships.
I think you get the point of this little article – live today, enjoy today, serve today – “Be here now!” I love this quote by the great philosopher Winnie the Pooh (and A. A. Milne):
“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
What does scripture have to say about it? “Be very careful, then how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil,” (Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV). King James says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” I could say much more about these verses, but for now may I point out “redeeming the time” and “making the most of every opportunity” or as the phrases go — “seize the moment” and “be here now.”
All nine children finally slept through the night. All of my children walked. All are potty-trained. All graduated. The fifth will marry in May. The tracheostomy is long gone. Christmases and vacations have come and gone. Even “that dog” is gone (of course, there have been more to take his place). AND now I find myself purchasing senior citizen tickets at the movie theaters!!
Oh, Lord, help us to “be here now.” As difficult as some days are, help us to embrace each moment. Help us to find You in the middle of it all and to know contentment and “the peace of God that passes understanding.” As mundane as some days are, help us to understand the ultimate purpose of glorifying You and representing You to our children and a lost world – even and maybe especially – in the routine. – Carlotta
written by Carlotta Jackson