I can never embrace the future.
I can’t touch it, hold it or breathe in the salty, hard smell of it. I can only watch it slowly rolling towards me, like a sunrise bubbling over a hilltop, about to burst.
But it comes. Whether I will it here or away, it still stubbornly comes at its own pace— like a grandma clicking in her walker. It comes like two blazing chariots of fire racing to out burn each other, ready to run me over. It comes.
Meanwhile, the present flutters gently at the tip of my nose and breathes heavy sighs down the nape of my neck. It groans.
I stare right past it. I hear only my imaginings of trumpets sounding and rolling snares gurgling along the red ribbon at the end of the lane.
Sometimes I am fortunate enough to take my eyes from the glow of that distant sunrise long enough to groan and sigh with with the vagabond student studying who he is and how to get there with what he doesn’t know—to feel the dew seconds before it slips out of sight or to ache with the trees as they curb and bend beneath weighty branches and limbs, beneath the heaviness of things.
For a moment, I am present. I can be. I must choose to be.
Jesus touched the eyes of the blind man, and first he saw shadow trees in place of human beings.
If he touched my eyes, would I see the veiny leaves, the laugh lines and acne scars on the souls of human beings, of all things present and presently in need of being seen in order to be heard, to be caught singing, groaning, sighing in need or in praise?
Yes, we run. We fight for our next breath. Sometimes we stop and have a breakout dance session in the middle of the sidewalk. Then we rest.
What if moving forward, running the race, was not for the pedestal prize, but for the present one?
What if we believed so fully in God in the midst of us, those eyes swimming back at us, that we looked him in the face, finally gasping with relief that he is Emmanuel, God with us, present where I sit and breath, sighing with me in relief, and twinkling in the eyes of the eternal beings who stare tiredly back at me from across the dinner table.
That we would have eyes to see, presently, when the world around us groans for that light, fluttering breeze, for racing chariots ablaze, perhaps even for a cup of sweet tea and warm company.