Everything Is Here

Recently, I read a poem by the Irish poet and theologian Padraig O'Tuama, and it resonated with me so much, I wrote it down, as I often do such things.  At the time I wasn't fully aware of why it resonated with me, but when I read it again today, it came to me. 

First, let me share the poem: 

there is no ending.

everything is here.
(so pitch a tent that you can live in
and find a friend to whom you'll give
times of telling
times of testing
times of listening
times of resting)
there is no ending.
everything is here. 

Aside from the wonderful rhythm of the parenthetical part of the poem itself, the driving phrases speak volumes, don't they?

there is no ending. 
everything is here. 

When I read those words today, I happened to be on an airplane on my way to Florida to attend an event with my wife, whose law firm is one of the main sponsors.  

This is also the second time in my life when I found myself on a plane that was full of cheerleaders either heading to Orlando for a competition or returning from one.  

The last time it happened,  I  remember thinking that I was sure to be safe from any calamity because God would definitely not want a downed plane full of cheerleaders on God's ledger.   

I was only half-joking when I wrote down almost those very words in my journal almost ten years ago--words that would eventually find their way into my first book.  

This time I  find myself approaching the whole idea from a different perspective---one that has had ten years of maturity, a host of changes, and a couple of years spent having the entire world turned upside down. 

As we flew over the Gulf of Mexico, the plane was shaken by hard turbulence, so much so that the flight attendants actually buckled up.  By the way, that's always my barometer as to how bad things are getting: whether or not the flight attendants are freaking out. 

I decided that if I was meant to go out on a plane full of cheerleaders, so be it.  At least it would be an interesting way to go.  I also decided that God didn't really have anything to do with it.  God doesn't cause all things even though God gets blamed (for good or ill) by most of us. 

We all need to start giving God a break on these kinds of things.  I know for me it has been liberating to give God a pass on all of the rough things that have been going on in the world lately, even though it's far too easy to do the exact opposite.  

I think God desires for us to do just that, and more besides.  I think God wants each of us to live in the moment--this moment right here.  God longs for us to be fully present in the naked now because this is what we have.  

There is an eternity in our present moments.  As the poem states, "there is no ending. everything is here."  This is hard to put our minds around, so instead of drifting into existential angst, we should just rest with these words on our lips.

Because this moment is holy, sacred and full of the glory of God and the beauty of Creation.  It's full of the light that shines within us, the divine spark that illuminates even the darkest parts of our hearts.   

We should pitch our tents in this moment, especially if we have people by our side who understand us perhaps even more than we understand ourselves.  We need companions who will listen, share, tell and sometimes just sit with us in silence.  

May you find the clarity and peace to be fully present in the moment today and every day from this day.  May you discover the glory of God all around you.  May you liberate God from your unrealistic expectations, and in so doing learn to enjoy God more. 

May it be so, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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