Once, when I was about ten, my father churned past the outer edge of the field that he was plowing, face ruddy with the dust of our Oklahoma acreage. He idled for a moment, bright red Massey Ferguson tractor roaring, and gestured to me with his broad farmer’s hand to hop aboard for a turn around the house. As I stood on the running board, braced for the lurch of first gear, I gazed down between my feet at the churned earth below. Etched there in the field by some random act of the plow was the shape of a heart.
Remember this moment forever, I suddenly told myself. I don’t know why. There was nothing memorable about it; it was just another humid day in mid-America, heat undulating in ribbons of vapor from the ground. But something in my childish soul recognized that it would not come again, and therefore it is etched in my mind with a permanence that very little else can rival. The bucolic bouquet of sweat, diesel, and stubborn clay soil saturates my memories like incense, turning the mundane into something holy.
I wish I could say I’ve been just as wise to tuck precious everyday moments away in my memory banks ever since then, but I’m afraid quite the opposite is true.
Have you heard? Life is fleeting. Time is deceptive. The days are evil. That’s right, I said evil. Says so right here. In other words, the days are crafty little buggars. They lull you into a false sense of security, of feeling like nothing will ever change, and all the while…it is. Antique Mommy’s post here was yet another reminder to slow down, enjoy the moment, and most importantly, to plan for joy in our everyday moments. She does not advocate trying to fabricate joy, but to simply expect it. To be ready for it.
To have eyes to see it.
There are pearls in these days of ours. Pearls straight from God’s hand in the form of sunrises and sunsets, gentle breezes and fierce storms, clamoring voices and bubbling laughter, messes and mishaps. Is it possible that the irksome interruptions that derail me from my goals are themselves the goals instead? Too often I am the sow trampling those pearls of opportunity under my feet: unthinking, unappreciative…unwilling.
You’ve heard all this before. So have I. Taking our lives for granted is a priviledge only possible for a small percentage of the world’s population, and I’m part of that. I don’t want to be guilt-ridden, I just want to do better. And so I’ll keep saying it, if for no other reason than to remind myself to pull my head out of the mire.
Because someday, instead of mindlessly mucking about in the feed trough, I want to spy the pearls that are right in front of me. I want to pluck them up out of the mud, polish them, and string them on cords of gratitude to the One who scatters them with such indiscriminate liberality.