It’s late January — the dawn of yet another new season, the beginning of a brand new school term.
And I know that any moment can always be a new moment — new for Mamas chorusing their hallelujahs over kids’ and the end of their holidays high; new for home life with the return of school, and set routines, and sane eating, and pretty sound sleep time — and what’s new is always good.
Anything new is always good.
And on the cusp of a new morn of a new Monday, we ate.
I rang the kitchen bell and gathered the kids around the island.
The husband’s consumed it for six or seven years straight now and he is still loving it.
He’s said it straight, ‘Carman’s healthy and complete and should really be our family’s go-to-staple for really busy days’. I nodded and simply complied.
The kids spooned theirs down in mouthfuls, and I, hunched over a child’s stool with an opened book.
I’ve had to choose.
This daily choosing on how to run multiple ships and still find our fill. This daily learning on how to multiply time so our souls not deplete.
And when you come down to it, the key to prioritizing time between passion and productivity may very well boil down to one thing: the daily taming of the option monster so you can tantalize the contentment platter.
Sometimes you need to forego the good for the better.
Too many good things spoil the best.
I chose the Book and offered the Word.
Would they take it with me? Would they welcome the Word so that they can really live, and thrive?
I read aloud:
Then Moses said: “Now please show me Your glory.” (Exodus 33:18)
Their faces still sullen and sleepy, and I’m praying for truth to drip deep down and drench hearts wet, this new morning, this new week, our new season…
Blank slates — I took my brush and canvassed.
“Now, Kids, Moses really wanted to see God’s face. He was known as a friend of God. How many of us have really seen God?… Hello? Anybody home? Good morning…can anybody tell me if God can actually be seen?”
There were yawns and Little Missy raised her hand.
“…God is Spirit and has nobody like man.” She was rattling off some memorized catechism.
“We cannot see God but He always sees us”, Little Missy continues, “and…uhm what is a Spirit anyway?”, she spoke in between gulps of milk.
I smiled a mile wide.
She is sunshine and I radiate love.
Can we linger over this a little longer? Can we do this every day? Keep mealtimes and life goals simpler so we can swallow more of the Word and savour more of our Saviour, and truly thrive?
I said, “Well, let’s read on…”
God responded to Moses by saying, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will announce My name, the Lord, so you can hear it. I will show kindness to anyone to whom I want to show kindness, and I will show mercy to anyone to whom I want to show mercy. But you cannot see My face, because no one can see Me and live…(but) there is a place near Me where you may stand on a rock. When My glory passes that place, will put you in a large crack in the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand and you will see my back…”(Exodus 33:18-23a)
“God is Spirit and has no body like us. That’s why we cannot see Him. But He sees us, hears us, and loves us with all His heart.”
I paused for a response.
“The reason why we cannot see Him is because He is all glory, and all holy, no one can see Him and still live.”
I let those words rise and ebb.
My oldest girl, she seemed lost in thoughts.
“When Moses came down that mountain after he’s seen the back of God and touched the beat of His heart, his face shone with so much glory that the people were afraid to come to him. Can you imagine that? The God of Glory wants us close to His Holy. Should we spend a moment of our day today and thank Him for all His greatness? And begin our Monday morning missing Him?”
Coffee steam’s curling up out of my cup and I’m cured of my morning daze.
I said, “If we know how to miss Him, we’d know how to see Him, because when we prioritise Him, we can pursue Him. You see, Kids, what God really wants from us is a relationship, not a religion. And I think that’s what Ms are supposed to be for…”, I was making things up on the spot.
“M is for Morning. M is for Monday. M is for Moses, and M is for…” I, now lost for words.
“M is for…Missing Him!”
I think I’ve got it, and nailed it!
“M is for being mesmerized, being magnetized, being motivated by Him.”
They laughed at me.
Their Mama’s truly lame with words.
But maybe, missing Him can be the magic for our day too?
Because no matter what we’re facing today: M isn’t for a mad rush, M isn’t for a messy dash – but for missing Him every morning of every day, so we can be mesmerized by Him every month of every year.
Because perhaps the best way to use our time effectively is to simply be in love with Him.
Then you won’t waste time in the periphery, because you’d live out of your core in love.
Because when you’re in love with Him, every place you step upon can be your sanctuary, and all your secular places your sacred spaces.
That time can be a tabernacle of worship and every courtroom, or the classroom, or the clinic or wherever else we find ourselves in, can be our Bethel: the place where we see the face of God — and in whatever we do, fall a little deeper in His love, shine a little brighter with His hope.
And that Mondays and mornings and a brand new school term in late January can be the moment for the lapping up of holy love and the rekindling of ancient warmth.
And perhaps, this is the way to hunger for the holy, to desire for true glory.
And on the cusp of anything new – a new day, a new job, a new hour, a new baby; we can take time to be quiet and miss Him, because maybe that is the time that would count the most.
Because time to reset the heart resets what holds and launches us, what controls and conquers us.
And this we won’t have to worry: there’ll be enough time to do the urgent as we prioritize the important.
That St Augustine’s penned it eloquently:
“To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances; To seek Him, the greatest adventure; To find Him, the greatest human achievement.”
That perhaps to start a new season right is to begin with pursuing an intimacy with God not just for a period of time, but as a preoccupation of life. (Edmund Chan)
That to begin a new school term great is to lay in the kids’ hearts a passion for the Lord, not a mere profession of just going to church.
I want that, and I pray for that, and I hope to be that.
And when the kids have all licked off their last sip of milk and you’re there, basking in the morning ray and collecting the now emptied, you can sorta catch a glint of what’s reflecting, like sheer glory shining from heaven into the hearts and now onto their faces…