I have a confession to make … I am really bad at living in the moment. I’m a planner by nature and I always like to think ahead to ‘what’s next’.
When I hit some rough patches in the last year, I started to become better at living through those periods in peace because I learned that there was nothing I could do to speed them up or make them go away. I learned that by sitting with my grief, broken-heartedness, and angst and befriending those unfcomfortable feelings I could better survive my given challenge, even embrace it and allow it to transform me.
My Grandpa – devout Catholic convert, father of eight, and hardworking carpenter – was beloved in our family for his gentle and strong guidance. He always used to say ‘this too shall pass’. Its been over 20 years since he went to live with Jesus, but his wisdom has echoed in my ear more times than I can count in the last year. Through my miscarriages, when I moved away from all my friends, when my husband and I took on a new town, new house, new job, and new pregnancy all at once.
Each time there was immense sadness, I would hear Grandpa say … ‘this too shall pass’.
Each time there was anxiety or uncertainty, I heard Grandpa whisper… ‘this too shall pass’.
Every time it seemed that things weren’t going my way, he reminded me … ‘this too shall pass’.
Then something even more amazing happened.
In one of those tender and wonderful moments with my two year old that I wish would never end, I heard … ‘this too shall pass’.
And I was not horribly sad at the thought of these joyful moments vanishing as quickly as they come. I was overjoyed at the GIFT of learning how to really live in the moment.
I have to admit that when I watched my husband and son collecting rocks on a much needed escape to the coast last weekend, my mind wandered to the laundry, cleaning, and food prep that had to be done when we arrived home later that day. But I quickly remembered ‘this too shall pass’, shoved those worries far out of my mind, and continued to revel in the sun basked joy on the faces of my most precious treasures … my family.
Because our joy, when derived from a deep faith in our Lord, will never vanish; it is with us 24/7. But our experiences and activities that heighten this joy pass as quickly as they come. Picnics end, guests go home, children stop needing to snuggle before bed. Really, truly enjoy these moments … because they all have something in common … they too shall pass.