A step into an airport and my mind already starts to wonder, “Who will the Lord place in my path today?” This started years ago with a single trip where I asked for God to show Himself to me, and that I would be awake to see Him. I ended up sitting next to someone and we spoke about all sorts of things, eventually leading to the sharing of my faith with that gentleman. The series of curcumstances were such that God’s hand could not be ignored, and the adrenaline I felt knowing that I was interacting with God on such a direct level was powerful. It began this state of mind – really a state of expectation and anticipation, knowing that God always directed a situation on each plane ride that really was unexplainable. I recently flew to Arizona with my husband and we ended up being among the last people on the plane, us begging for someone to give us a seat in the fully booked plane. I wasn’t surprised when a man in the very back slid over, and I smiled inside, knowing this was God’s plan. As I sat down, I saw a black book in his hand, a gold cross on the cover, and I had to laugh – my Lord never fails!
When we flew to New York, a friend and I years ago, I remember us praying before the trip and on the way, even together on the plane just before landing, that God would use that time to show us He was with us and to create a new work in us. When we landed, the first thing we did was to hail a cab and the driver looked completely intimidating to two young women from the midwest who came from towns with combined populations of less than 2500 people. We loaded our luggage, hoped for the best and settled into our drive when the gospel music came through the radio in the cab and we knew that man was a believer. For the rest of the trip, everwhere we looked, we saw things that reminded us the Lord was embracing us there – so much so, that we began to comment to each other – I wonder where we will see Him today? And we did. What a joyful expectation that was!
And so I wonder why it never occured to me that this is how we should live each day. I remember this as I read a book that talks about the weighing down of moments – of bringing them into sight and beholding them – of being alive and awake to how God is working each day.
We live in a culture saturated with the concept of “living in the moment”, which has somehow become a slogan for consumption – gathering all you can of everything because you never know if there will be more. We grab for money, for power, for more, more, more. Us sinking deeper into the pit of soul-poverty, drowning in the mountain of our material posessions. The moments we live for are all about spending – even the spending of our time as if it is running out.
But what if we are really gaining time?
These moments placed in the jar of the heart and mind, gathered for eternity, accumulating joys. What if “living in the moment” really requires us to let go? To let go of striving, of worry, of anxiety, of planning, of control? What if we give it up to Him? Do we actually gain our lives in return, awaken to the eternal moments? And is the doorway to that way of living wrapped up in gratitude and expectation? Is the slowing of moments really the casting of nets to gather His gifts? I have worked hard to do this life right, planned, and prodded, and labored. Does the overflow come when I lay down the net instead of dragging it?
“Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken.”
When stop striving and grasping but instead I lay down the net – resting in the moments, knowing I will see His miracles there. He fills my net of gratitude full of His gifts – moments in time, true joy – and my net is not just full, but OVERFLOWING! Others notice. It changes their lives too. Their boats get filled all because I let down the net. And in the abundance, we can’t help but see the Provider, the Maker of all things and acknowledge our lack. I awaken wide, my soul-lense etching pictures in my mind. My net is laid down and I eagerly wait for the catch, knowing that my net will overfill.