not what you think




Lakeside

Originally uploaded by jon.swanson

I spent some time today talking to a person who was, figuratively, looking at the bottom part of this picture. Things seem really muddy. There is a haze over his life right now. I had to remind him, probably with less grace than I should have, that what he was seeing wasn’t the truth, it was a dim reflection of what is really going on.

I think of that counsel as I think of how I feel at this moment on a Friday afternoon. Two hours ago I had a list of 17 things to work on before the day was done (if my phone battery still had life, I’d take a picture and show you. 17.) Everyone was gone from the building.

I did one.

My afternoon feels muddy.

Okay. Now for the truth.

One long conversation. One email to follow it up. Both working hard against self-deception and in the always important battle for lives. Two long email conversations and a couple short ones with people who matter about things that do, too. A twitter request for chocolate milk and a response that it was provided. Following our son’s trip to Chicago by text. Gchat with a newer friend about really cool things happening with congregational transformation. And some brief, interesting conversations, though somewhat one-sided in words, with God.

Like pool at the bottom of this picture, life is muddy because we look with a shallow measure. We look short-term, down. The water there is murky. However, when we lift our eyes and decide that looking at things as they are rather than how they seem matters, that long-term, even eternal, is more important than the momentary feeling.

So I’m doing better. I’m headed home. And when I drive past Lakeside Park tonight, I’m going to look right at the arch, not the pool, and not a cameraphone representation. And then, if I’m wise, I’ll look past the arch to the sky.

And be grateful that I get to work not with lists, but with lives.

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