Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Being attentive is not always easy. Busy is what drives our life and busy does not allow for the kind of stillness that attentiveness requires. Still, once in a while what is usually missed is seen anyway. Such a moment came a few days ago while looking out the window of a motel. The front of the building was several hundred feet from the road and there in the grassy area between were pecan trees. Not just one or two, but a number of them planted in rows as orchards are planted. In a flash I realized the motel had been built on what was once someone's pecan orchard, a place where people lived and scraped a living from the dirt. Thousands of people drive by every day going to wherever it is life calls them to go and most likely they go so fast they never glimpse the sight of what used to be.
One of the things missing in our culture is how our lives are entwined with those who have come before us. We live too much in the now to see that glimpse of time which enables us to see others who moved through the physical space we take for granted. One of the inherent teachings of the sacred Word speaks of our connection to those who are unseen; yet, who have come before us. There is a visible community around us, but there is another which though unseen has a measure of bearing on the life we live. We always are standing on someone's shoulders. We are always the beneficiaries of someone's prayers.
Like those souls who crawled around these pecan trees, we, too, are leaving footprints someone will one day see. What will they say? Will they wonder why we did not care for the land entrusted to us? Will there be any signs left of what was important to us? Will those signs point toward things that have long faded away, or will they point them toward the eternal things of God which gave our life meaning and which can do the same for them? What will they see in those transcendant moments when some vision of what once was is opened up for them to see? The story we are telling is still being written. Write it well.