She took a deep breath, hands carefully placed on the keys, and started again. This time, she nailed it. Frog in the middle, with chords. She practically jumped off the piano bench to give me a big hug. "It's easier when I breath first!"
This kid that's so like me with her big ideas, her big picture thinking. Sometimes it's all so big she can't carry it and just drops it. Yeah, me too.
Some of us have flair for the dramatic. We live by that cliche that life isn't the breaths you take but the moments that take your breath away. But then I watch her take that deep breath, and I figure we probably have it all wrong.
A few months I started scrawling what I've learned on a journal page. Women I admire do this. I don't know much, but I do know if the people who are walking where you want to be are doing it, it's not a bad idea to follow in their footsteps.
I jot down shoes I love, practices that are helpful, interesting ideas from books that I can't stop thinking about, scriptures that are stuck on a loop, coffee that tastes amazing, and lipstick that looks good.
The high-minded mingles with the mundane in this practice of paying attention to what is really catching my attention in this life. It turns out the things that count can be buried in those daily inhales and exhales. We just have to pay attention.
I keep thinking about that phrase, "pay attention." What does that even mean?
Attention. Attend. To show up.
And we'll have to pay for it too. This showing up to see what goodness God has for our lives today. It'll cost us time, efficiency, and our multi-tasking. We'll have to pay the high price of saying hard "no's" and brave "yes's". We'll have to look what we claim we value in the eye and see it like it really is, what place it really has in our life. Like Elijah standing out on that mountain, we might have to find God speaking to us in the still and quiet places.
As quiet as breath. We can show up to the very life God gave us and see it for what it is: a gift. Beautiful and broken. Breathing, moving and changing.
And I find myself in this place, where the more I show up to see what God has given me, the more He shows me how much He really has to give.
It takes the attention off of what I need to get done and puts it smack dab in the middle of what God is already doing.
On this journal page is where I can see this amazing truth that there is nowhere the light can't touch. There is no place where my faith can't grow, no tiny delight wasted, no frustration overlooked. It turns worries over international crises into cries that resound in heavenly places . It turns heartbreak of the broken hearts of women broken into brave action to change the world.
Every breath counts. Every moment can be redeemed.
It was no mistake that Jesus spoke in parables that spoke to the daily mundane. He knew that if we couldn't see Him working in those places, we might miss the point altogether. I'm making all things new. That's what he said.
I guess what I'm trying to say is when I practice the spiritual discipline of paying attention the reward is hope. My attention muscles strain and pull in the mundane of the daily only to find they are stronger during the next bout of the doldrums. I ache a little from the tug of war with apathy, but it gets little easier every day to find the hope.
So I'm sitting down today looking over the list of Things I've Learned in March and I'm smiling, because some of them are so much less important than a breath and not much bigger, but hiding behind that list is a bright full life and a very big God.