Some days I am completely in sync with life. I wake up literally bathed in light as golden beams from the morning sun cast my bedroom in soft yellow and orange hues. I’m well rested and excited to tackle the day, even before my first cup of coffee, which I jump out of bed to grab.
With said cup in hand, I plug in to “my source” and after an hour of prayer and meditation I’m ready to tackle anything, which I do with gusto. I’m focused and driven as I plow through my to do list, an oddly pleasant atmosphere surrounding each task, no matter its difficulty. Light is present and moves as I move.
I’m grounded in a way that’s impossible to explain other than it’s just me willingly submitting to God. Call that contentious client, stop procrastinating on that presentation, take care of those bills piled up in the corner, reach out to the friend who mistreated you, make time to visit the parents and by all means get that blog post out that’s been stuck in your head for weeks! Ok, yes, please, um alright, what’s next?
An almost overwhelming joy permeates me during those times and life just flows. I’m doing the things I need to do to live a responsible and productive life. The connection to a larger purpose is strong along with awe that tiny, little ole me is playing a part in it.
Time seems to slow down during those days as awareness of the present moment takes over. The inescapable beauty of our natural world strikes hard as I contemplate the inner petals of a flower or dew dripping off a blade of grass.
People too become beautiful, even in their ugliness, as the unmistakable stamp of God shines through their broken parts and speaks plainly to my own. Cardboard character stereotypes dissolve in to openness and vulnerability, real conversations happen. Ones that matter anyway.
Boy, is it easy to love and be loved when I’m in the flow like that, with a seemingly endless supply of empathy and forgiveness and a strong desire to see and treat people, as God would want. The knowledge that grace has been extended to me many times when I absolutely deserved the opposite, compels me to do the same for others. I’m convicted, humbled and willing to obey as life unfolds divinely as it was meant.
Then there are those other days, when I wake up feeling as if my pillow was made of bricks and everything is tinged with darkness, regardless of the weather. My head pounds as I lie there willing in vain for a cup of coffee to appear (heavy on the cream please) and my brain struggles with the conflicting sensations of jittery panic at what the day will bring and sheer exhaustion.
My movements are slow as I juggle breakfast with finding something to wear while ignoring the desperate and frequent chirping of my cell phone. I know I should take 15 minutes to sit quietly, maybe have a chat with God or just get my breathing to slow down, but this thought annoys me. I don’t have time as I’m already running late. Besides, it’s not like that really does anything, right? It’s up to me, myself and I to turn this day around and right now I’ve got a meeting to get to.
Darkness follows me as I rush to the car and curse because I didn’t fill the tank up yesterday and now have to waste more time stopping for gas. Finally I hit the highway and with the radio playing and the window down, my mood lifts a little. Traffic suddenly comes to a dead stop and I barely avoid hitting the guy in front of me because his brake lights don’t work. It’s all I can do not to throw my half full coffee mug at his car so I settle for more cursing and turn up the radio
The entire day goes on like this, one struggle after another. I’m irritable, impatient and not very nice to be around. By evening I’m completely spent, like I’ve been swimming in a vat of molasses. There is a deadness to things too; no connection to others, no sense of purpose and zero communication with God. To the contrary, any divine message that happens to breach my self imposed barriers results in me doing the opposite of its intention.
Forgive that person? Why, they were being a total jerk and I’m going to tell them that. Don’t gossip about my boss? He’ll never know and besides it’s just a little venting, no harm, no foul. Stop swearing? Please, it feels good and everyone does it. Stop by Mom’s and return her book?? I’ll do it tomorrow when I’m less tired. Engage that person next to me in conversation? They’ll think I’m weird and I’m not much in the mood to talk.
On and on it goes, me floundering about and punching holes in the air as if in a battle with myself. In reality of course it’s just struggling against God who only wants to protect me and prevent the other side from getting another soldier.
It’s no small thing this war that’s continually playing out behind the scenes of my little dramas, my little life. The more aware of it I become, the more clearly I see my choices and the consequences, good and bad, they bring. Light always comes with one, darkness with the other.
Be aware and fight aggressively to walk in light. It brings a hope like no other.