I sat on the kitchen floor in my cozy spot by the sink crying my eyes out. My summer of Saturdays are now over, and I am trying to figure out how to meet with God in the chaos of life. Again.
Of course chaos never ends. It’s just that in a certain measure of chaos and clutter, I had a bit of a system figured out. It worked. Within the matrix of Angela’s system there was space to love God and meet with Him and still do life. Now I feel like someone took my carefully crafted etch-a-sketch, saw the carefully etched lines and said, “Huh…” and shook it every which way until it all vanished from sight, giving it back to me in triumph as I stare at clear space. They are elated. It means possibilities. I am depressed. It means I am a mess.
I have been handed a blank etch-a-sketch. Except everyone else from the dog to the principal and the dentist wants to turn the knobs and sketch on it. Or they want to tell me how to sketch and what I am doing wrong with the sketch. Ever feel like that?
My amazing and patient man tried to encourage me. What came out of his mouth as courage fell on my heart as criticism. As a disclaimer he actually told me I may take it wrong. Huh. Brave man. He still said it. And I still took it wrong. I felt like he was telling me how to use the etch-a-sketch. It is mostly because of the mean voice in my head that is already talking that I heard him like that. That slave-driver in my head says it a bit like this (though not as nice): “If you would just sketch a bit more this way … and turn the knobby thing that way … voila! You could have a latte out of life.”
You can never drink a latte from an etch-a-sketch. No matter how well it is sketched.
It was not my man’s fault. He eventually exited the room and said, “I will just let you have your alone time.” He was wise. That was what I needed, though not what I wanted.
In that place of not what I wanted but needed, holding my imaginary etch-a-sketch, sitting in a puddle on the floor … I told God I was so upset I didn’t even want to talk to HIM. God. Not my man. I actually wanted my man to get me. He didn’t. God did. And in that tiny etchy space, though I felt like lightening would strike me down for telling God I didn’t want to talk to HIM … the opposite happened.
The sense that He was in my face again. The feeling that my space was HIS space. The reality that my messy MESS invites HIS clean-freak side. God came for me when I thought He wouldn’t, and I was all put out with Him before I even gave Him a chance.
In my spirit, I heard loud and clear: “I AM … RIGHT NOW,” with the kind of growly voice that we parents use when we are trying to straighten out our kids.
I stopped crying. Right now. I sat quiet. Right now. I started to unwind. Right now. I listened to what was being said to my heart. Right now. The etch-a-sketch began to form these words as God seemed to take hold my current crappy little self. This is what got sketched. (Please let each description fall on you and stop for a bit.)
I am the Right Now. Right Now … Think. Right Now … Be. Right Now … Breathe. Right Now … Here. Right Now … Whole. Right Now … Current. Right Now … Keep. Right Now … Speak. Right Now … See. Right Now … Hope. Right Now … Meet. Right Now … Come. Right Now … Glory. Right Now … Free. Right Now … Stay. Right Now … Believe. Right Now … Life.
Right. NOW. I am the Right Now Moment. Right Now Present. Right Now Alive.
I am right now.
You cannot have the right now from the WHAT WAS. What Was is your old right now. Though I was in the before, I am in the NOW and the now is the only space you can have Me.
You cannot find Me in the what is to come. Being in the NOW, you will not get Me in the what will be. The what will be must become the Now but it only will be when your right now is lived in. The space of what is to come will ever always be your never arriving place. You live in the now.
I am three in ONE. I am in the what was. I am in the what is to come. For you, I am the RIGHT NOW. Be … in the now. Drink deep … the now. Stay … in the now. Hold Me … in the now. Live … with Me … in the now.
I am in the RIGHT NOW.
Right Now … Coffee.
My problem has been my comparing my life NOW to the Before. The before trips me up. I have been carrying a weight of guilt and fight in why I can’t ever seem to get things back to The Before. I have been resisting the evolution of the present.
I am a girl who loves change. I have no idea why this grasping and grabbing for what I loved in the before is how I think the present now should be but somewhere, I wanted to camp it down, build a tent and stay. It is taking a “shake-the-sketch UP” for me to let go of the before. The NOW is where God is.
Another problem is judging the what is to come by looking at my now that feels like an empty etch-a-sketch. Have you ever tried to draw an exact picture on the exact line to get back the exact perfect picture you had before on a freshly shaken etch-a-sketch? Sometimes you can get something similar, but lots of times the grey line, by impulse, takes on a lightly different edge.
The impulse of the now is that it is GOD near. God here. GOD happening. While I am focusing on the old sketch, a new one is just waiting to take place. The what is to come can only be experienced in the now. While looking to the future it does not have to hold the present emptiness, or the past goodness. It certainly can be different than the old trauma, or the present joy. It has a future glory and mystery to it, but I will never experience the mystery without the right now. The RIGHT NOW is where I am at … all the time. My body is in the now. My memories are in the what was. My tomorrow is a dream away. I can only be in the NOW. God is in the rest, He walks with me in the right now. I am missing Him when I let either side … the what was or the not yet … etch-a-sketch take over. Both places exhaust me in the what is NOT. My focus gets off of what is.
It was like God was saying to me, “If you want Me you can have Me but it will be in the NOW. Right now, with husband retreating and kids sleeping, you have the NOW. BE with ME in the NOW. Sketch now. Draw Now. Tomorrow the thing may be shaken up again.
“I am not saying that I have this altogether, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong; By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward … to JESUS. I’m off and running, and I’m NOT turning back.” Phil. 3:12-14 (the Message)
Are you avoiding the Now?