don’t want to miss it
I was peacefully studying when my Diet Coke spilled, the furniture swayed, a dresser toppled over and I stumbled to the doorway, riding the door jamb like a galloping horse. My roommate held on for dear life on the fire escape of our rickety old ex-fraternity house. When it finally stopped, we raced down the stairs and gathered outside.
I have to admit, I was a little excited. After four years in California, I had finally felt my first big earthquake. Then we realized it was a really big one– 7.1 on the richter scale– and were grateful to survive without injury. The Marina District burned, the Bay Bridge broke, a double-decker San Francisco freeway collapsed, and the World Series was abruptly cancelled at 5:04 pm that day.
My dear boyfriend (later to become my DH) checked on me and then biked away to study (ridiculous work ethic, that guy of mine). We didn’t realize we would be banned from our now damaged house, and many students would be homeless for weeks. We bunked together, taped up the windows, and huddled through the aftershocks for days, never knowing when another big one might strike. It was a major life event. I still grab my desk, ready to dive under, when I feel the slightest floor tremble (in Michigan!).
Another friend? He totally missed the whole thing. Riding his mountain bike along the foothills, he thought the trail was just extra bumpy. He wasn’t connected with the earth beneath him, so he didn’t even realize it was shifting.
This story popped into my mind during a recent discussion of the walk to Emmaus. In this story, two disciples walked with Jesus without even recognizing him. They were so caught up in their own lives that they completely missed the miracle in their midst. I used to wonder, “How could they miss it?”
Now, I totally understand. It’s so easy to get caught up in our daily routine, planning and preparing for the next hurdle, that we forget to pay attention to our surroundings. We forget to connect, and we miss things–the little blessings, the minor miracles, or even the earth shifting beneath us.
I want to connect. I want to be present. I don’t want to miss what’s happening in my midst.
What about you? How do you stay in the present?