I’m in the market for some present tense.

15 Apr

Recently we’ve found that some of our future plans are a little more up in the air than we thought.  Surprisingly enough, things have been calm around here.  Matthew and I have spent most of our married life trying to get somewhere – Davenport, seminary, ordination, homeownership, parenthood, etc. For the first time in a very long time, we’re content with what we’re given, no matter what we’re blessed with.  My mind wandered to Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek tonight as I was pondering our situation.  This particular section struck me the first time I read it, but tonight I understand it more than ever.

“I’m in the market for  some present tense; I’m on the lookout, shopping around, more so every year.  It’s a seller’s market –do you think I won’t sell all that I have to buy it?  Thomas Merton wrote, in a light passage in one of his Gethsemane journals: “Suggested emendation in the Lord’s Prayer: Take out ‘Thy Kingdom come’ and substitute ‘Give us time!’ ”  But time is the one thing we have been given, and we have been given to time.  Time gives us a whirl.  We keep waking from a dream we can’t recall, looking around in surprise, and lapsing back, for years on end.  All I want to do is stay awake, keep my head up, prop my eyes open, with toothpicks, with trees.”

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