One week to Christmas. Three months to something else. A year and a week to next year’s Christmas. A month since … Four years ago today …
Little markers along the way – pointers to and memories of.
But today … in a few hours … and then in one hour and twenty minutes … and then now. Right now. This moment of thought to keyboard to screen. Now. Three letters. I Am. Three more.
Woke early this morning. Used to resent that some years ago (I forget the precise number). Resent losing sleep. Resent. Losing. Sleep. Three words. What a waste. Three more.
Used to lie there getting irritated with someone/something/somewhere (three more). Each moment filled with bad stuff. My bad stuff (three more again!). No one else but me awake. No one else to turn to and cry “Why me and why now?” (that’s five). The rest of the world asleep and oblivious to my pain. Pain that would manifest itself later when everyone else was awake and I would cry “I am knackered – I didn’t sleep – I can’t cope!” (that’s 3 x 3).
I know now that others were also awake for their own reasons. Just that no one feels able to disturb the sleeping (we all assume) – so all we wakers keep our waking to ourselves.
But today … I wonder how I could even think I “lost sleep” … why I even resented “losing sleep” …
But I did.
Even when I chatted to GSHJ it was because he was the only one ready to listen to my moaning. If there had been someone else awake and ready to share a cuppa GSHJ would have had to wait. Talking to God is okay – but I find him “reserved” – uses one word (or just silence) when what works for me is a chapter or two. Saves me having to work it all out. But he seems to prefer me doing that. Which puts me in control. Even though I’m not in control of much. And his answer to that ambiguous thought is …
I know he’s listening right here and now. So I know he is choosing silence rather than words. And (if it was anyone else) I would demand words – demand something that came back to me – insist on a conversation. But with God Soft Hand Jesus … ?
Presence is enough.
Just like I don’t lose sleep anymore – I gain wakefulness – I gain and am given. Just like GSHJ doesn’t sweat all the “religious markers” with me anymore.
Advent? It’s cool but not that relevant. Christmas? It’s wonderful but not for a bunch of “teaching opportunities”. And memories of past markers? We share them like an old married couple … snapshots of him in his batman outfit … of his “to be feared” image I was given as a child … Scary God … Omnipotent God … Distant God … (all of which are two – not three).
In this moment (I have gained) – these past memories (I have collected) – these markers (yet to come) …
It is now (three words) – in this moment (another three) – THAT is where love and living are to be found – THAT is where my God waits for me – where I gain (when I tarry in the present) – if I stop rushing around (in the past and the future) – when I try and control (it all) – when I try and control and change (what has already passed and what has not yet been) – which is futile (three more).
I change me – only me.
Just like I choose to not resent “losing sleep” – choose to celebrate “gaining wakefulness”. Choose that presence is enough. In this moment. Choose it is enough.
Because Christmas will come. And Christmas will go. But this moment – and the next moment and the one after that … ? I get to choose. I get to allow.
So choose wisely – choose carefully …
Except in this moment there is no “wisdom” … there is no “carefully”. Those are of the past and future – they are of others – of “should”. Which means that in the moment I am free to be.
To be I am.
Anything else is not me – is not I am. Which is why I celebrate and share this moment.
Because In this moment –
I Am Free!