PRESENTLY His

I sit in front of the keyboard today with its blinking cursor and I just cry. Part of me wants to start writing and never stop, to experience some great catharsis. A different part of me wants to avoid writing altogether, and succumb to this numbing experience of quarantine and isolation.

Am I the only one feeling entirely stuck these days? Torn between apparent opposites?

A friend of mine posted yesterday on Facebook that it’s okay to be less productive than normal during this global pandemic. One of my writing groups, on the other hand, is loudly shouting for all to hear that there will never be a better time to brainstorm/write/edit/publish that book; as if not cranking it out right this minute means it will never ever happen.

Like I said, I am firmly stuck between two opposing schools of thought when it comes to writing productivity. Similarly, I seem to oscillate at home between being the master completer of all household projects, and the master completer of TV and puzzle binges.

Time is a tricky concept. Sometimes it feels as if life isn’t really going anywhere right now. Without milestones like graduations, parties, grading periods, and sports championships, every day looks and feels pretty much the same, like time is standing still. It feels as if God pushed the “pause” button on the entire world. Alternatively, the pages are flying off the calendar. How can that be so? What day is it? What month, even? I’ve lost track of the time that is, in fact, passing.

I struggle to look beyond the right here and right now, but I think it’s important that we do. Have you given any thought to the future? When the crisis has passed, how do you want your life to look?

I’ve been pondering this a great deal. We have great clarity right now, in these slowed-down, simpler times. Wildlife is returning to urban areas, marine life is returning closer to the shore, air quality is way up, noise pollution is down. On the other hand, covid-19 has shown us sickness, death, our innate weakness as humans trying to fight disease, poverty, failures in our economy, and hunger.

What do we want to take with us into the future? What do we want to leave behind? Which lessons do we want to learn, to bring about change from, and to always remember?

I encourage you to spend some time in thought and prayer, asking God for wisdom and discernment, questioning how He wants us to eventually move on from this surreal moment in time.

I know I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past. I want to do better. To be better. And to live in a better world. I admittedly don’t know exactly how that will look, but I’m taking some time to try and figure it out. After all, what better time than now?

I’m reminded of the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus told Martha that she was worried and busy with many things, but only needed to be concerned with one thing, and that one thing was studying at His feet as her sister Mary had chosen to do.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42

Maybe it’s okay to be frustrated … to not be super productive … to feel stuck between opposing forces and ideas. Maybe that’s the point. Discomfort forces us to dig deeper and draw closer to the One who holds the answers to our questions — to the One who can bring us peace beyond our understanding.

If ever we needed to focus on being Marys instead of Marthas, the time is now. If we ever needed Jesus, the time is now.

Take time to draw near to the One.

PRESENTLY His,

Nicki

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