“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
– Dr. Seuss –
It’s easy to want to be wherever I’m not.
It’s easy to miss the moment for the longing.
And it is so, so easy to want to tweak God’s gifts.
I laid on my back on a blanket spread over the cropped green grass. The sky was blue–oh, so blue–and the little ships of clouds scudded along the uncreased waves of air. Sun rained gold down on my skin. A wasp hummed by, in search of a warm place to bask.
But I wanted to add a P.S. on to my letter of thankfulness to God.
Truly, my heart was full as I stared up at a sky with such clear-toned color, I could not describe its blueness. I grinned up at the clouds. And then I wondered.
I wondered if a moment could be so perfect again. And I amended my letter of praise:
Dear Lord, thank you…but is this the only moment like this I will ever have? Will the people I love not ever get to see this with me?
Like a child letting the warm sand slip through its fists, I clasped the moment–wild with the glee of warm, pouring life and desperate to somehow bottle it up and immortalize the perfect instant. I was so afraid of the trickling time pouring warm between my fingers. I was so afraid the breathless moment would be lost for ever.
So fear crept into my glorying, and tainted my joy.
Climbing a mountain, I think about those left at the bottom. Walking along a river, I wonder if I’ll ever return to the perfect moment again.
With each gift, I’ve found that my heart bends the joy into a sort of ache. Instead of just enjoying the gift, I ask questions: Will there be another gift like this one? What if I can’t remember this gift? Why can’t others share this gift with me? How long can I keep this gift?
A glorious dinner of laughing and fun. A breezy neighborhood walk with the acorns crunching under foot. A cup of hot tea. The soft weight of a baby resting in my arms, wiggling her toes in thoughtless glee.
All these things I’ve had. All these things are gifts.
Why, then, do I persist in spoiling the moment? I think of the absent dinner guests. I wonder if tomorrow’s walk will be spoiled by rain. I wish for another cup of tea. I wonder how many baby toes I’ll get to wiggle.
“Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.”
– Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts –
Yes, this is my fall: That I spoil the gift because I fail to trust the Giver.
I bow now, and repent. I give over myself–again, and again, and again. I will trust my God for His gifts. I will trust that He knows just what to give me–each day’s gift perfect for that moment.
Because every day…every breath…is truly a gift.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”
– James 1:17-18, NKJV –