That was then, this is now.
Living in the “now” may sound like a no-brainer, until I consider the excessive amount of time spent dwelling on the past or day-dreaming about imagined tomorrow’s. To be fully present in the “now” is accepting God’s gift of the present moment. My soul is fullest when highly attune and deeply in touch with the reality of life as it is being lived in the present tense.
Easier said than done, I spent some time last weekend, devoted to living in the present. Here was an experience I recorded in my journal – AFTER soaking up the fullness of that moment.
On my slow stroll to Chili-U – an eclectic restaurant I later settled into for lunch – I walked through a section of leaf-stained sidewalk. By the time of my journey, the leaves were piled in wet clumps against a storefront. Before being brushed aside, the fallen leaves left rusty imprints on the concrete. Brilliantly detailed, striking silhouettes. I wondered how long a leaf had to lay before fossilizing its shadow on the sidewalk. I’m assuming that the leaf’s legacy required laying motionless. Perhaps the more prolonged the stillness, the darker its mark, the more veiny details pronounced.
Leaves have a reputation for letting go. The psalmist’s phrase, “Be still and know that I am God” is more literally translated as “let go” and know that I am God. Leaves must know God very well. The leaves along this Chicago sidewalk both “let go” and were “still.” They let go of lofty places, humbly laying still where people tread. Dead, they left behind a remembrance and legacy, a leafy pattern on an otherwise cold and lifeless slab of concrete sidewalk. The best mankind did here was pour a level, drab gray swath. Nature – always the artist – painted a beautiful still-life of death.
I am in no hurry to die, but I want my eventual death to beautify lifeless slabs of earth. I want to leave a mark, a leafy legacy pronounced and detailed by a life of letting go, being still, and fossilizing shadows of my Creator.