To the tune of “We’re Alive” by My Name is You
I’m finding that I’ll distort even the best kinds of moments in life. There was this one night last year. It was simple and perfect. There were about eight of us. It started to rain, so we played tag outside in the downpour. When it stopped, we put on warm clothes and sat in a dark room and took turns reading Edgar Allan Poe in different accents. That’s a night that we look back on and think, “Those were the good days.” We say those things like we are so old and removed, because that’s what it feels like. That was a time when we were together the most: staying up late, laughing, praying, learning each other in the process of growing. The best way to describe it is that we were at camp then. No rules, endless possibilities, and the purest, most childlike intentions any of us had in years. But camp never lasts forever and it didn’t for us either. The nights when it rains now are a little less rambunctious for me. Like right now, as I’m writing this, it’s a rainy Saturday night and I’m home alone. We don’t hang out as much anymore. Schedules are different and maybe it’s a little from disenchantment, too. It’s nights like these that make me look back and idolize rainy Edgar nights. It’s easy to romanticize the past and lament the current and I wonder why that is. In my head, these quiet and slow moments become haggard in the face of a perfect past. What a foolish thought to entertain…because isn’t every breath in our lungs a moment of magic and beauty? When my head is in the right place, I remember that there wasn’t anything extraordinary about that night, really. We were the same people we are today, and we were just as broken then as we are right now. There has to be some letting go of that “perfect past” in order to receive what the Lord has ahead.
Somewhere along the string of nights between this one and that one I forgot to praise the God of that moment instead of that moment. So here’s to praising God at camp, to drinking in every second and every detail of perfect rainy Edgar nights because they won’t last forever–because nothing this side of heaven does. Here’s to absorbing how those moments feel, because we’re called to extend that same warmth and love to all. I’m learning to praise God in the quiet and just as wonderful present. I was able to see a lot of my friends through God’s eyes on that night, so here’s to learning how to see you as he sees you over and over again. I’m learning to find peace in the current and the past. God doesn’t call me to compare to what was, but to live with my face to the East, reflecting his ever-present love for us, and to bring as many home with me as I can.