I wrote last time about Time and Perspective and got a couple of private messages about it. Thanks again for going on this journey with me.
Every person you meet has a story to tell. Some are happy, and some are sad. Some are filled with good memories and others will rip your heart out. Some are a mixture of both. I’m going to share with you one of my not so good memories.
On April 26, 1993, my brother, Jim, committed suicide. As you can imagine, my world skid to a halt. It was as though all the oxygen had been sucked from the room and I would never catch my breath.
I remember a scene from Harry Potter when they encountered the Dementors for the first time. Afterwards, Ron said, “It felt like I’d never be cheerful again.” That’s a pretty good description of those bound in grief.
Days and weeks went by in a blur. I went through the motions of being a wife and mother, went to work and to church, but if you asked to remember a specific detail of that first year, I don’t think I could.
That was almost twenty-six years ago. Does it still feel the same? No. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love him or miss him or nearly grab my phone to call him when we get our first snow fall or I hear a song he loved. But, with the passage of time, I have a different perspective. Now, I also think of all the moments I missed with Jim, my boys, my family and friends.
But, even knowing all I missed, I can get down. In fact, if I let myself, I could feel nearly as bad as I did all those years ago. I can’t physically go back, but my mind can. In fact, it could go there and stay there. I didn’t get to the point I am now overnight. No, I had to try to live in the moment, instead of going back to the days after he died. At first, it was a few moments…over time, I had to re-center my mind…keep my attention in the here and now.
It doesn’t have to be anything tragic that makes us travel back in time…or even forward. Did you ever work somewhere and not get along with someone? It makes it difficult to go in each day. Or have a customer that never seem to have a kind word? Perhaps it’s a relative that is always sad or mad or outraged. It makes it hard to stay “in the moment” knowing you might see them tomorrow or talk on the phone with them. Dreading or fearing the future can bind us as tight as reliving the past.
Jim gave me permission to share how this affected him recently. He has a co-worker that has a habit of not listening when he asks a quesiton. Jim knew he would see him the next day and was quite sure that the person wouldn’t have done what Jim had told him to. Jim was so upset about it…and then, when Jim came home the following day, he told me with surprise that the person had done as he had asked. Jim was so busy “projecting” that he had himself in a tizzy over nothing.
God is here in this moment. If you are hurting over something in the past, something that has happened and can not be altered, ask God to help you find his peace, here in this moment. If you are dreading tomorrow or fearful of an upcoming event, God is right here…right now. Ask him to share his grace and be blessed by his present right now. Don’t miss the blessings God has for you now.
Remember in I Kings 19, in when Elijah was hiding on Mt. Horeb and God came to him, God wasn’t in the great and powerful wind…God wasn’t in the earthquake…God wasn’t in the fire…He came to Elijah in a whisper. Quiet your mind…be in this moment…listen to God.