There is an ongoing tension for me
how much time I spend on my past verses being in the present. The reality is
that we can't really be in the present without going into our past and grieving
that which was lost. On the other hand, if we are so caught up in the past, we
completely miss out on what is going on around us. I'm finding that there is a
third way. It is when our past story and the present collide. This merging of
our past and present is beautiful yet uncontrollable. It is during these
moments that remind us of our humanity and can be rich if we welcome them. The
problem is there is no real formula nor is there a timetable that you can dial
in. The only ingredients are surrender, mystery, and reverence.
It is when our past weaves into our present that we get a picture into our soul. Though it may be a small and faded picture, it reminds me of the child within me that has been forgotten or relegated to a lesser role.
This reminds me of a quote by Parker Palmer that says, "The soul is like a wild animal - tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient, and yet exceedingly shy. If we want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods, shouting for the creature to come out. But if we are willing to walk quietly into the woods and sit silently for an hour or two at the base of a tree, the creature we are waiting for may well emerge, and out of the corner of an eye we will catch a glimpse of the precious wildness we seek".
This past and present is so very similar to communion. Communion is not only communion with God but it also includes those who preceded us and those who will follow us to death. It struck me that communion is so much more than my narrow view. What struck me was the broadness of whom I am participating with in communion. I am at that moment communing with my Grandparents and my brother and others. Time stands still for that moment. The same is true with our story. Our memories and our feelings can serve as a gift reminding us of our dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It serves as a reminder that while we are living in this world, this is not our home. Our emotions, grieving, and pain are really pains for being homesick for heaven and that an ever small voice is reminding us that we are not home yet. We can ignore them, fight them, or accept them.
Our story is too important to diminish. We only live this life once. Time is drawing near and that while we may have forgotten parts our story, our whole story is not forgotten nor will it ever be.