"For thus says the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy;
I dwell in the high and holy place,
And also with those who are contrite and humble in spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite." - Isaiah 57:15
I know this: there are things that only God can achieve. That doesn't stop me from trying to achieve them on my own anyway. Secure my own future. Save the world. Judge the lady next door. Save the lady next door. Protect my heart from breaking.
Inhabit eternity. I'm not sure I get what this even means, but I'm pretty sure I try to do it. I think it means something like living in all times at once, experiencing past, present, and future as if all were an eternal now.
I seem to spend half my time dwelling on past mistakes and poking at old wounds to see if they still hurt. The other half I spend either plotting for desirable futures or worrying about undesirable ones. And since I'm not God, the time I spend in the past and future is time I'm not spending here and now. God can mastermind the future while noting the fall of every sparrow, but the time I spend focused on the past is time I'm not noticing my kids, or my husband, or the beat of my own heart. And I bet I'm missing a lot of good stuff.
So today, I'm committing to not be God. I'm committing to not even try. I'm committing to being present in the now, at least for a while. For half an hour today, I'm going to do nothing but notice where I am now, to look for the gifts of God in the moment I'm inhabiting instead of the ones I'm not. I will breathe, I will inhabit, I will be human, and I will be grateful.
God, you may inhabit eternity, but I can only manage one moment at a time. Let that moment be the one I'm in. Amen.
Quinn G. Caldwell is the Pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church, Syracuse, New York. His most recent book is a series of daily reflections for Advent and Christmas called All I Really Want: Readings for a Modern Christmas. Learn more about it and find him on Facebook at Quinn G. Caldwell.