Still in Spain, have a couple more days here. Currently in Barcelona. I am enjoying the city, food is excellent and the weather is perfect. More than that though, I have loved getting to hang with my mom and sister. We live in Athens, Atlanta and Boston working so it is not every day that we can all be together.
I wanted to write about some thoughts that have been brewing and some thoughts that were provoked by this little piece of street art I spotted in Figueres the other day. This clocked, mashed into our little friend's head here caught my eye and further provoked me to explore these questions I have been asking myself for some while now.
Am I a slave to the clock? Time, feels like to me, the person I never invited to the party. He just shows up and reminds. Always reminds. He reminds us that we have wasted him, that we won't ever have enough of him, and gets us to needlessly worry about capturing him and saving him. He is a helpful guide, but as just as he can help us make order of life, he can also begin to rule us.
I cannot live in the past nor the future. Either of those places are illusions. Living in the past plays out as this: replaying failures and living within them, wishing for life to be the same as it used to be, growing bitter about age and the limitations that come with each additional year, the longing for youth and the negligence of wisdom. Living in the future plays out as this: holding your heart captive, not willing to give it until the perfect scenario arises, always saying "well when I get there, I will..." , living within someone else's story that was never meant for you to live, it is worshipping tomorrow. It is making an idol of the future. It is the anxiety that arises when you think about where you will go next, who you might marry, and what might become of your life. I am not to live in either of these. In the moments when I forfeit the present joy, the present task, to wallow behind or living in the next, I become a slave to the clock. I cannot live in the "what if's" or "when's".
I must learn how to both learn from what's behind and be excited and expectant for the future, while holding both perspectives with open hands, willing to put those hands towards today's plow. Is life being stolen from me in each moment because I am obsessed with overturning stones from my path or anxious about what is beyond the bend? I must learn to let it go, to relinquish control over who gets to write my book. We walked a lot today in Barcelona, and I began to think of this. If you were to try to simply take a path while constantly looking forwards and backwards, it would be impossible to walk. Instead, we are to focus in on every step. To take care to step with direction and grace, enjoying each moment and each view that may be available to us. I'm not talking about living with no direction here, but it's taking the greatest care of how each step is taken, knowing that whatever you are called to be in today's step is the reality of your life. Not yesterday, not tomorrow. What are the opportunities today to live and be light? And are those chances lost because our minds and stuck in what's behind and what's ahead? To live in the past and future is to live in illusion. We can only use the past as a guide and the future as a glint of hope, but neither should ever become our God. Walk by faith, and walk today and nothing else.