“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we know what to do with it.” -Ralph W. Emerson
I share below a conversation between myself and God. I wrote this while in prayer a few years back. January of 2008 to be more specific. It was just me and God talking, me complaining and Him answering. It was not written to be shared but I now feel like sharing it, as a wake-up call, as an encouragement.
This is the typical situation I would find myself in from time to time: caught somewhere between the past and future, between nostalgia and dreaming – a place that’s not fully real, not dealing with the now, not accepting reality. It’s a nice place to live in, a great sedative to keep one from becoming relevant and truly alive.
I am a lover of history, those black and white photographs portraying folk from way back when, the foundation of what us, the people, have become. I can spend hours dreaming about how awesome it must’ve been back then: life seemed so nice and slow! Being the chilled out brother I am, this whole fast living thing breaks me at times. Can everyone not just relax for crying out loud! Leave me in any museum for a few hours and I’ll relive the past with a smile – trying to picture what it might have been like.
Or my alternative happy place: the future. Dreaming of days to come, perfectly thought out I try and forge them into being. The wife, the job, the house, the life: man, it’s gonna be gooooood. Yet, too afraid to put my hand to it seeing I might just spoil it, or rather the knowledge that I will (definitely, for sure, make-no-mistake-about-it) spoil it.
So here I am: ever hovering, never living. With a thousand excuses I’m ever ready to disengage the stage specially prepared for me. I will continue to cherish history because man, we must! We must dream too because without vision we will surely perish. But can we afford to do it at the cost of the now? Hiding behind inadequacies and ever waiting for the opportune moment? I must learn to translate both the past and future into the now – only then are they truly relevant.
Why now? Why this age?
Surely it was better back then
More suitable, more convenient… easier
I was meant for then
Better would I have fit in
Or no not then but one day
My day will come, someday
I will bring about change
Truly I’m gonna shake this place
One day!… Someday!… Maybe?
Excuse Me, why not now?
“Inadequate at this stage”
“Not quite ready yet”
“Growth period in progress”
Surely explains the state of My nation
One life I’ve given you
One youth, not two
Leave the future to Me
The past, just let it be!
Be still and know:
I’ve created you for a time such as this.
“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” –Mordecai (his message to Esther as written down in the Book of Esther, chapter 4:14)
“If not us then who, if not now then when?” – well, many people said this and they were all right.
“I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
“So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” –Gandalf advising Frodo on the reality of dealing with the present in The Lord of the Rings.