On my walk this morning, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Gorgeous pansies, a deep velvety purple suitable for a king’s robe, as well as yellow ones with faces of pure sunshine, and orangey-red ones withered in a heap on the street. Twice I turned to go back, thinking of scooping up the best and planting them in my flower garden. Summer is weeks away, too early for these beauties to be ripped from the ground but, unfortunately, too late for replanting.
Why discard a present joy for the next attraction? Does a lull of quiet or stillness make us uncomfortable? Do we yearn to experience more and cram it into limited time without fully enjoying the plate before us? Time is limited, after all, but opportunities abound. A dream taught me a lesson about time and enjoyment, though I still struggle to live it.
When my mother died, I longed to see her in a dream. Occasionally I dreamt of her, but she was mute and unapproachable, busy serving others. One night I dreamt I was far from home in an unattractive large city on Christmas Day. I mourned that the day was warm, humid and mundane like any other, and I was alone. I sat on a shuttered building’s concrete steps. Suddenly, I saw Mom walking down the sidewalk in front of me. I called out to her, she turned, and her eyes lit up when they met mine. I jumped up, and we wrapped our arms around each other.
“It’s so good to see you!”
“It’s wonderful to feel you!”
Love cocooned us with a joy that I’ve rarely felt, an other worldly joy. Mom in my arms and hers embracing me, that’s all there was, and it filled every corner of my being. I didn’t say, “How I’ve missed you!” That thought did not cross my mind. Nor did angst weigh me down with how long we would have before saying goodbye again. I lacked nothing and thought of nothing beyond experiencing her. Joy saturated me, and there was not room for anything else, no past, no present, no future. Time did not exist. We simply lived in inexpressible happiness.
Remembering brings back a shimmer of that feeling. I think Heaven must feel timeless this way. I want to live with Jesus like this now, undistracted by past and future as He seemed to live. God assigned Him things to do while He walked on earth, like performing miracles, fulfilling prophecy, choosing and teaching followers. Still, Jesus never seemed in a hurry or impatient, despite living on a finite time-line here.
For instance, Jesus taught a crowd gathered by a lake. A distraught man named Jairus burst through the throng and crumpled at Jesus’ feet.
“‘My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.’ So Jesus went with him.”
He didn’t wave His disciples over to get rid of the man. He didn’t say, “I’ll be there in a minute.” He turned from the crowd and went with Jairus.
On the way, a woman suffering from chronic bleeding and quack doctors hid in the crowd that followed Jesus. She thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” She reached out to Jesus, and power went out of Him and healed her instantly. Jesus stopped the procession to find her and give her His full attention, even though Jairus’s child died while Jesus tarried. Jesus didn’t bite His lip or berate Himself that the girl died. He simply continued to Jairus’s house and raised the girl from the dead.
God, I want to walk in step with You as Jesus did, not prematurely jumping ahead nor hesitating in the past, but content at where You place me and with whomever You bring before me. I want to give them my full attention instead of secretly planning the next thing. I want to trust You so interruptions don’t ruffle me. Fill my every corner with Your presence that I may be fully satisfied in You.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength[b] of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73: 25,26