“Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”
I have not posted in so very long. Although I have wanted to gather my thoughts and append them to paper for the last several weeks (months?), the very thought of doing so causes a sense of anxiety. Can one be anxious of being anxious? Twenty-fifteen will go down in my annals as a year of anticipation – sometimes with eagerness, more often with anxiousness.
The year began with the anticipation of the qualification of candidates to the office of my employer, an elected official. That anticipation was further muddled by an order of the governor for a special election for an unfulfilled term of a deceased congressman, for which my then boss decided to run and ultimately won. Politics is a unpleasant game, particularly when one’s fate lies in the hands of those that play the sport.
During the midst of the political competitions in which I was unwittingly thrust, my dad became progressively ill. He had been battling an unknown for some time. He was initially hospitalized the first of July and was ultimately diagnosed upon a second hospitalization later that same month – Multiple Myeloma, for him a second blood cancer. Over the next four months, my father was home approximately five weeks out of those months. As I waded through each day I anticipated, both with eagerness and anxiousness, what the next day would bring. I met each day with hope of good news, only to be met many days with a new complication. It was hurry up and wait. Eagerness verses anxiousness. There were some ups and many downs during that time. In hindsight Daddy had been dealing with the symptoms of this new cancer for many months. As my dad was prone to do, he just kept keeping-on until the disease rendered his body in a much weakened condition. I asked a lot of my dad during this time. I ask that he fight. And he did. And we did for him. For there is always hope. But ultimately it was too little too late. Daddy gave up his battle and Jesus won the victory on October 23, 2015.
Even now it is painful to write these abbreviated recollections – abbreviated in that it is impossible to recount all that occurred during the eternity of those four months. At the time, I had attempted to journal the events, but it was all happening too fast. Most often I could barely tell what day it was, much less what happened during that day. Each day held its own victory or was a hellish nightmare. And yet, it was a time of preparing. As difficult as it all was and is, I would not trade those last days with my Daddy.
Then November came with the culmination of the elections and the anticipation of all that comes with new administrations. Again each day was met with both eagerness and anxiousness. Hurry up and wait. Ultimately I was relieved of my wait only to be met with a new set of worries – unemployment! Three weeks before the end of the year. Yep. Wow! Didn’t see that one coming.
In reflection, God has been prodding me to let go and trust. To stop living in the past. To stop worrying about tomorrow. To stop connecting the dots of life. To stop living from one event to another. With God’s prompting and leading, I’m working on living in the eternal now. These wise words were posted by Nicholas B. Phillips on his Facebook feed from one of his “Carpe Diem” writings twelve years before — something I needed in the here and now. God uses His people to be His messenger!
God’s prompting has appeared to me through several additional sources in my social feeds, including this Instagram post. I took a screen shot of the post and have referred back to it several times.
I, like The Dusty Lane, have a plethora of things I want to do in the newness of 2016, so many in fact that I’m almost anxious with the prospect of them. Instead of making resolutions and setting goals, I am adopting The Dusty Lane’s word for 2016: Be.
As the new year unfolds, I may work on any number of things I need “to be”. The word offers a multitude of opportunities – be happy, be healthy, be humble, be creative, be… – you get the idea. For now I’m working on “Be present”, as in the here and now.