'Here' vs. 'There'
When I was 23 years old, I was about as busy as I’ve ever been. I was working about 30 hours a week, finishing up massage therapy school with all of its classes and clinic hours, I was serving in the presidency of the women's organization in my local church congregation, my husband was a busy 3rd medical student, AND I was pregnant! I remember at that time, hearing about someone else who was ordered to be on bed rest during her pregnancy. I thought that sounded FABULOUS! Seriously, rest all day?! Read! Watch movies! Sleep! And, no guilt, because it’s DOCTOR’S ORDERS! It sounded so appealing! Three weeks before my due date, at a regular checkup, they discovered that I had pre-eclampsia, and I was ordered on bed rest. The first evening was great. The next day was boring. The day after that, I was going nuts! It turns out that forced inactivity is not as fun as it sounds. I only had to be on bed rest for one weekend, thank goodness!!
Anyway, I was thinking about that experience recently. While we aren’t experiencing forced inactivity, we are experiencing a forced slow down of most everything in life. It’s funny that when I was so busy during that season, I thought how great it would be to rest all day. And, when I was resting all day, I thought how much I wanted to be free to do whatever I wanted again. Before this pandemic quarantine, I often wished life would just S L O W D O W N ! Now, when it is slow, I catch myself thinking about how great it will be to get back to some of our “normal” activities again. But here’s a truth I’m coming to realize, ‘THERE’ is not better than ‘HERE’. There is opposition in ALL things. That means that no matter where we are in life, no matter what is happening, no matter our opportunities or our limitations, there is POSITIVE and NEGATIVE to be found. We can waste our time ‘here’ focusing on the negative, and wishing we were ‘there’, OR we can focus on the positive ‘here’, and remember that ‘there’ will have it’s share of challenges too. We can accept that the contrast of the negative (opposition) is what makes the positive so sweet. It’s the way God designed this beautiful, messy, human life.
Byron Katie said, “When you argue with reality, you lose, but only 100% of the time.” What if we made peace with our current reality? What if we drop the idea that something has gone wrong--that this isn't how life was supposed to go? What if we accept the opportunities and limitations of today, and make the most of them? What if we stop resisting what is, and free up all of that energy to invest in being fully present 'here'? It may not make the road more smooth, but it will make the journey more meaningful.