This last week I have been reading Ann Voskamp‘s delightful book A Thousand Gifts and have found it very hard to put down to get back to the other things I am meant to be doing. She starts with a dare: Could you write a list of a thousand things you love? Her recounting of how she puts this list together and what is on it is profound. – morning shadows across the old floors, wind flying cold wild in my hair, suds… all color in the sun.
Time is a relentless river. It rages on, a respecter of no one. And this, this is the only way to slow time: When I fully enter time’s swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of all my attention I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here… I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment. And when I’m always looking for the next glimpse of glory, I slow and enter. (p68)
We live so much of our lives distracted, thinking about the past, the future or what might have been. Being present fully to each moment is not easy for us and so we miss the glory of God – God who is present in the rainbow colours of the suds in the sink, the crackle of pine cones in the fire, the whistle of the wind through my hair. Unless we slow and take notice of these glorious previews of God’s presence and give thanks then we miss so much of the wonder and purpose of life. Entering into the joy of the present moment completes the enjoyment and enriches our lives and our communion with God.
So this morning I started my own list – A thousand gifts from God – a thousand blessings that make me aware of the present moment and reveal the glory of God. – snow on the rooftop slowly melting, a warm house on a cold morning, the smell of fresh ground coffee, a watery lick from my dog…. And as I sit hear reflecting on what I have written the world around me seems more alive, more translucent so that the glory of God shines through. And I find myself wriitng a prayer:
God may I live today fully in the present moment
Hungry to taste the life that is now
May I slow don to look and listen, to give thanks
May I see in every sight a cathedral giving glory
May I hear in every sound angels singing alleulia
May I give thanks for the grandeur of God
Present in all that is, all that was and all that will be