No Surprise Parties For Me

“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Matthew 6:33-34 (The Message)

As much as you might think surprise parties are wonderful, please don’t plan one for me. Why? I love to anticipate the future. I want you to tell me about the festivities and who is coming and what is planned so that I can savor the event. I can daydream about it, look forward to it, and count down the days to the party. I am just one of those people who love to plan, to hope, to dream.

So, for me, that is one of the most difficult parts of this pandemic. At least for now, there are no future plans. I am not scheduling a trip to see my mother and extended family in California. I am going to have to wait to cuddle our new grandson and our granddaughter until it is safe to do so. I have no plans for getting together with my long-time cycling buddies for a weekend bike trip. I am unraveling our travel plans to Spain. For now, all future-ing is on hold.

And so that brings me to today. I had been trying to practice mindfulness (which I like to call the sacrament of the present moment} for some time before this pandemic changed all our lives. As much as my mind tried to stay focused on the present, attempting to savor each moment, my thoughts always seemed to leap forward to future possibilities. No matter how hard I practiced, the future seemed to sneak into my thoughts. Our future is shrouded in the unknown, and there is no indication on when I will begin to plan again.

So out of necessity, this sacrament of the present moment is becoming a daily practice – not so much by choice as by necessity. So, what am I noticing in my mindfulness? Well, today, I heard morning birds saluting the dawn, the aroma of my first cup of coffee, the joy of snuggling into a great book, the pen sliding on the paper of my journal, our daughter sitting beside me engrossed in her own journal practice… the simple things of life. I am at peace, filled with gratitude.

Rev. Dr. Deb Kaiser-Cross
Minister for Congregational Care

Practice for This Week
Try a mindful walk, looking for all the ways God is meeting you in this sacred moment.

For those missing the physical connection with loved ones today.
Blessed One, teach us to wait with you day by day in quiet ways as we invite the power of your Spirit to transform us into instruments of your grace. Teach us to see with new eyes the wonders that exist all around us. Take away our weariness, our blindness to what is beautiful and sacred. Increase our sensitivity to the people and situations around us that you might use our gifts to be a blessing to others as we follow in the ways of Jesus. Amen.