As summer draws to a close, and another birthday approaches, like the next rung added to the ladder of my life, I find myself more pensive than normal in these late August days. There’s something different in the air this year, and I’m not quite sure if it’s entirely due to the hazy smoke filled skies or the return of shorter days ushering in the coming shift in seasons. I’ve yet to pinpoint exactly what, but when I stroll about my neighborhood on any given afternoon there’s a scent and taste of an hour much later than what the digits show. Like a fight between time and space in these rapidly diminishing days, yet concurrent with a palpable sense of halting suspension. It’s as if the bullet train of time steady on its track is desperately being resisted by immovable space just wanting to hold us still for a few savory moments to take it all in. At least that’s the sense I get as I continue my daily walks, trying not to let the ritual become regimen and yet again fall into the mindless rhythm of life. I know it’s not though, as I walk for the means and not for the end, and catch little nuances like the still flowering window boxes and a green stretch of grass alongside a nondescript neighbor’s home, or the camoflauged barn owl glaring down at me from his perch atop the light pole at dusk.
With each passing day it seems I am not anywhere closer to regaining my former life of uninhibited movement and frequent physical activity, yet at the same time more of myself than I ever thought I could be apart from the things that once constituted my perceived identity.
In the sunlit breeze against my face, softly playing with my untamed tresses, I hear the whisper of wisdom from above, the deep crying out to deep, speaking these wind wrapped words: “where you once devoured life you now have learned to savor it.”
Yes, it’s true, my zest for life had turned into a rabid hunger for increasingly more, never reaching satisfaction. I was zealous for life, feasting on each gratifying event, and ever wanted more; more joy filled occasions, more mountaintop experiences, more laughter, more moments, just more. I thought in all the hectic scavenging of memories I was living life to its fullest, when in reality really relishing life runs at a much slower pace, much like the one I find myself walking in now. There’s so much to see in the tiny details so easily missed in the rushing. The rushing of time, of moments, of dates on a calendar, of appointments with friends, of empty space that we all fall into a frenzy to fill.
Standing at the edge of my all too familiar and favorite sunset overlook, I peer down at the field below me and smile as a verse from my year’s anthem psalm rises to my recollection.
“He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me,” (Ps.18:19). And it occurred to me, at that moment, that this place we oftentimes envision as a pristine meadow full of wildflowers and butterflies may in fact be closer to this sunburnt field I look down upon, and that maybe this place could even be flanked by pain and suffering. Yet He brought me here, to this place where He resides, to His presence, because He has delighted in me. Despite any of the circumstances that exist, I can rest and in the middle of it all, in the truth and of wonder that He, God of the universe, would care to take delight in me, this bumbling, finicky, restless girl.
But He has heard my many cries, He has inclined His ear toward me, and He has come down from His throne to encounter me, to bring me here, in the midst of all my troubles, all because He sees me as His delight. What a more beautiful picture of love can there be? And in this moment when these words come alive, I am thankful for it all; the struggle, the hurdles, the pain. For now I can taste the flavor and smell the scent of a life that truly has meaning. Of a life lived entirely for Him <3.