where we begin...

So tell me the story
Of all your past glories
The lovers, the losers, the friends.
Spill all your magic,
The good times, and the tragic
Tonight will this mystery end?
When we begin, when we begin.
— Ellis Paul

Where do we begin?

Currently I'm in the process of writing a book on how memories are critical to our formation. While the journey through the words has been interesting, I find myself battling the cold, limping voices of procrastination. 

Let's start that later.
We have time for that later. 
We'll get to that. 

This isn't uncommon in the writing process, I know that, but a significantly different aroma has come with this season of putting things off. I realize that the work of formation begins, well, NOW. 

We cannot live outside of the present moment, hours, minutes, seconds that are arrayed in immediacy before us. We are here. We live here: this moment, this place, this time.

The wisdom of Psalm 1 this morning is that walking, sitting, standing in unwise places is the opposite of flourishing beside rich and clear streams. We walk, we sit, we stand here. Here and now. This moment ahead of us. 

Yet, this moment isn't limited to the present and immediate future. We come with a past - we come with experiences, memories, scripts, and stories that have been carved into the oak of our souls over time. We have hurts, wounds, successes, achievements, insights, and talents that we bring to this moment. 

We ache even now with decades old abuse, intensified by news reports of people coming forward and talking about the hands that hurt them and took their value and beauty like it was a stone on a path. 

We ache with our unmet expectations, the grand plans that we thought would lead to the emergence of our dream and a long term stay in one place. 

We wrestle with ambivalence - we may sit in the present moment and let a sigh roll from between our lips, and our soul shrugs its shoulders because...well...who cares...? 

Yet it is just here. It is still here, and just here, that we begin. 

That is why Moses set before the Israelites "life and death" and asked them to choose.
That is Joshua gave them "this day" to decide who to pour their worship into. 
It is why Jesus said, "Come, follow me" to his would-be Rabbinic students rather than "At some point..."

Today is where we begin. 

I believe God has crafted something into each of us today. He has etched a beautiful arc in our souls through our memories, our diligence in spiritual practices, the arrangement of our work & vocation, and the blackened grooves worn by perseverance.

He has crafted us to come to this moment, fully and willingly, and choose it. We choose wisdom in this day, we choose hope in this day, we choose sweat and love and grace in this day. 

So tend to the children in your home, listen to their stories and choose to see the Spirit dancing on their misplaced nouns and verbs.

Put your hand to the machine, the machine that takes the earthly metals and minerals and shapes them into something helpful and functional. 

Click the keys, write the reports, meet in the meetings with the full knowledge that you stroll into sterile meeting rooms and office spaces in the name of the Lord Jesus who woos the hearts of all. 

Drive. Eat. Sleep. Play. Pray. Meditate. Process. Forgive. Memorize. Agonize. Gift yourself to other. 

Bring your fullness - your past, present, and future - as well as your loves, hopes, and desires to this moment because it is here. It is a gift. 

And this moment, this moment alone is where God's true transformation happens. 

So where do you begin? 

Casey TygrettComment