Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Magically Mundane

A few months ago I read the book “Cold Tangerines” by Shauna Niequist. There are so many quotes and pieces from this book that I love. One in particular, from the very first chapter, I wanted to share with you because it speaks so clearly to me. Shauna finds a way to take what I believe to be a profound truth and puts it into words better than I ever could.  Want to know why I document every mundane detail of my life? Why I delight in the flowers in my garden. Why I cheer when my little girl learns to use her fork. Why I celebrate a sunrise, a cold beer on a hot day, a hug from a good friend, a sprinkler, an ice cream cone, a kiss….the magically mundane.  As Shauna so powerfully puts it, “This is it.”

“I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin.

And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. 

…I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies. 

…Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearls. And strung together, built upon one another, lined up through the days and the years, they make a life, a person. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies. 

But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets-this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of us will ever experience. 

…I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s  the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting.

…Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is. 

You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural.

You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given Today. 

…The world is alive, blinking and clicking, winking at us shyly, inviting us to get up and dance to the music that’s been playing since the beginning of time, if you bend all the way down and put your ear to the ground to listen for it.” –Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
(Okay, so this is probably one of the longest quotes ever, and I’ve even cut out several parts to shorten it.  If you want to see the whole thing it’s available HERE on the Amazon look inside.)

This is it. The magic is in the details, now go out and enjoy today...soak it up.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, this is what it is all about. It is why Jesus says doe not worry about what is to come but just live in this day. It is the day that the Lord has made, rejoice and be glad in it -- each day that you are allowed to live it. For indeed we have arrived and were always there in the care of the God of creation who made us and dwells in us.



I love hearing from readers! Thanks so much for leaving a comment!