Today, this Monday of the new year, signifies a day of beginnings. And I am here, at the starting line waiting for the gun to blow and I want to take off running. But somehow, in this moment with coffee and notepad beside, I sense that I am meant to walk. To rest before running, even though I feel ready. I feel the whisper saying “breathe”, telling me again that there is something to learn from the waiting, from the peace. That resting in His arms, is as fulfilling, if not more fulfilling than anything else I could be doing in this moment. That grace is something I will not learn when I am speeding through life, breaking glasses and slamming doors, in order to do the next “good” thing, the next “important” thing. And I know this to be true, in my heart of hearts, but oh, I just want to feel useful, to feel productive, and honestly, to be noticed. This is the vanity with which my choices stem from. This is the superficiality that I hope we all experience, think, or feel, because it would make me feel a little more real and a little less childish.
But deeper, there is the desire, the craving, the need to learn more, to rest more, to trust more. For grace to be my mantra, I must slow the expectations, the striving. For grace to be my gift, I must learn it from the inside first. That grace has been given, so I must receive it. I must allow myself to have open hands of acceptance to transform the hard, running parts of me, into those of Spirit and peace. I must stop talking and start seeing that hope is found only in grace, and if I want to see change, to find fulfillment, then grace must be allowed to penetrate the cracks of who I want to be.
I need to understand the things I read last year, but are now just coming back and reminding me that those words were golden, and the thoughts now must be transformed into action. That, “a life so full it can seem empty”, is how I feel like many of my days are lived, even though there is beauty and joy and wonder to be found in the days I have been given. I need to remember the words that say, “The only place we need see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now.” I need to remember that “when I’m present, I meet I AM, the very presence of a present God. In His embrace, time loses all sense of speed and stress and space and stands so still and… holy.”
This is the essence. This is what our lives our meant for. Stillness, knowing God. Holiness. And I can’t be led to this, if I don’t slow down. And I will miss so much if I stop receiving grace. And I must open my eyes to the here and now, so I can see God really in this place, and watch what He is going to do next.
All quotes are from Ann Voskamp’s incredibly life-changing book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.