Tis the Season; the present of the present

It’s that time of year when you hear one question on repeat: what do you want?
The answer has changed from year to year- toys, clothes, cooking utensils, money for missions…

As this question comes in due time, this year it has become more like a call to take an inventory of my life- what does it entail, what does it encompass, what is it that I want/what is missing?

In searching through these questions, I find myself looking at my haves and have nots: the tangible things in my life that surround me in daily use. The almost countless books stacked and waiting to be read, the 15 purses hanging in the back of my closet, the 23 different pairs of shoes for a number of occasions, the bobbles of jewelry displayed haphazardly, the pots and pans that sit in the cupboards, the mugs that hang and wait to be used, the six different towels folded neatly and tossed in the closet (really, I have six towels all to myself). Truth is, my haves list is embarrassingly lengthy.

In searching through these questions, I find myself looking at my content and discontent: the areas in my life that I give attention to daily. Truth is that I feel more discontent than ever. And it is not necessarily due to the stuff. There is actually nothing I can think of that would bring happiness (other than maybe a hot pink stand mixer, or some work that needs to be done on my jeep, or a new tattoo). It has more to do with where I give my attention. I find that I am constantly looking for the next step- so much so that I forget to see where I am standing. I take pictures and skim articles and glance through pictures without any of it really sinking in; as though because I have taken that picture or read through the article that moment is saved and I can come back to it when I have some free time- there is no need or purpose in the present other than to get me to the future. Thus, I am discontent with the present. It has become a task that will always be behind the future, thus behind where I want to be.

In searching through these questions, I find myself looking at my calling and my hang-ups: the passion that drives my commitments and the defensiveness I settle into. I am taking inventory of where I am in my life. I happen to be a huge fan of my life. It’s times like this I give pause to recount the last year, to see the good the Lord has accomplished through the bad, the glory gained from the miserable places, the grace given in the moments of sharp hurt. Am I continuing to move towards that calling or have I settled for good enough for now?

This place of searching and seeking is a place of stillness and waiting- in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. There are presents to buy, people to see, cookies to bake- and there are times to share with the people in my life.

So what do I want? I do not want to miss the present of the present, the wonder in the wait, the moments that matter.

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