The other day I was sitting in my comfy chair enjoying a great, page-turner type book. My four year old (Caroline is now four!) walks over and asks me to play Candy Land with her.
I don’t want to.
I want to read my book.
My very, very good book in my very, very comfy chair.
I look into her pleading blue eyes and ask, “what did you say?”
That line always buys me a few seconds to think through what my answer to her will be.
After thinking about the fact that I know I will feel so guilty if I turn her away, and what if she remembers these moments where I chose to read instead of play with her, and what if her insides hurt because her mama chooses the book over her, or what if I’m just really neurotic and this is no big deal but still WHAT IF…?
“Sure, I’ll play.”
But the truth is, I don’t like it. I’m selfish and I just want to read my book and I’ll bet she feels it. Will I ever change? Will I ever be un-selfish? Will I ever choose to engage my girl and enjoy this time together, or will I rush through it just waiting for it to be over so I can do my thing? And isn’t this how I sometimes, mostly, live my life, just waiting to get onto the next thing?
Will I ever figure out how to live well and in the moment, and with joy?
Life is really hard, and some days are awesome, and some days are so very un-awesome. So no, I’m never going to figure out how to have a together life, and I’ll certainly never have a perfect one (what a silly notion that is!). And joy? Maybe. Fullness? Definitely (because Jesus says so), but what does that mean? Maybe I should just give up trying to figure out what it means to live.
But maybe I shouldn’t.
Maybe we all are facing a hard battle (Plato), and maybe we are selfish and tired or neurotic, or whatever, but I still think there’s more, because I long for it. I feel the pull, and ultimately, I know that pull is toward heaven, but in the here and now I think there is more. I know it. Not perfect more, not tidy more, but something…
And that something has to do with hope, a hope that trumps the defeating feeling of living battle worn.
Living in the blink isn’t about figuring out how to live a perfect life, or even an always happy life. It certainly isn’t about living an easy life.
Living in the blink is about living true in the midst of the battle. It’s about living free. It’s about living with a longing in our souls that we know can never be met here, but reminds us that something so much better is coming.
Living in the blink is about being intentional without being overly idealistic. It’s about choosing the good thing in the moments, without beating ourselves up for choosing poorly sometimes. It’s about recognizing the reality of sin in this world and just under our skin without letting it define us or how we live. It’s about falling down and picking ourselves back up. Rather, it’s about falling down and getting up knowing we aren’t alone.
Living in the blink is about redemption.
I walk, I fall, I get up, I help someone else up; they help me up. I trust in the power of the Holy Spirit living in me and I keep walking. I keep on.
And if I can keep on going, if I can keep walking and hoping and trusting that God is doing something beautiful in me, then somehow, I think just maybe, I can really live.
P.S. I know there is so much more to say, and so many questions to be answered, and I really dislike triteness, so maybe I’ll be tucking these thoughts and many more onto some real pages that maybe someday you’ll read.
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