Quite possibly the most pencil-marked, dog-eared book in my collection, One Thousand Gifts is a book of wild emotion, shocking vulnerability, unsettling convictions, breathtaking hope, life-changing challenges, dawning epiphanies, quotes of masterful wisdom, and spot-on truth.
But in this counting gifts, to one thousand, more, I discover that slapping a sloppy brush of thanksgiving over everything in my life leaves me deeply thankful for very few things in my life.
I speak it to God: I don't really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done--yesterday.
I'm reluctant to untether from the moon. The world I live in is loud and blurring and toilets plug and I get speeding tickets and the dog gets sick all over the back step and I forget everything and these six kids lean hard into me all day to teach and raise and lead and I fail hard and there are real souls that are at stake and how long do I really have to figure out how to live full of grace, full of joy--before these six beautiful children fly the coop and my mothering days fold up quiet? How do you open the eyes to see how to take the daily, domestic, workday vortex and invert it into the dome of an everyday cathedral? Could I go back to my life and pray with eyes wide open?
But there's always the descent from the mount. The meeting of the crowd, the complaining, the cursing. Obvious and immediate transfigurations exhilarate the faith, but the faithful can forget transfigurations...
"Feel thanks and it's absolutely impossible to feel angry. We can only experience one emotion at a time. And we get to choose--which emotion do we want to feel?"
Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is. And stressed, this pitched word that punctuates every conversation, is it really my attempt to prove how indispensable I am? Or is it more? Maybe disguising my deep fears as stress seems braver somehow.
God reveals Himself in rearview mirrors.
And I've an inkling that there are times when we need to drive a long, long distance, before we can look back and see God's back in the rearview mirror.
Maybe sometimes about as far as heaven--that kind of distance.