Eternity Presses On

Eternity pauses in the middle of this moment. In this creaking chair in the corner of this coffee shop with its cream brick and rounded windows on the north end of Main Street. From southeast Wisconsin, glaring winter is mostly gone. Faded ivy climbs the wall of the building next door as buds cling to the promise of the opening to come.

I jump out of my skin, but then I always come back. Even when I don’t know where the first notes sounded or how they continue.

You see, I want to grip this life in my fist and steer it where it needs to go. Even when I do not understand where that is, I still try to direct because if I can feel the texture of my future beneath my fingers, then I can look at it and see where it will go.

Just let it go.

Baristas carve their lattes, swirling milk and espresso. A little boy bobs behind his mother, eyes orbed in wonder at the space of café and the chatter of people. The world lingers between the lines, which I have worked hard to keep in order.

When will I finally learn that my life is not my own?

The beauty of walking on this earth is not having to ordain every step of my own making and live in a paralyzing fear that I have swerved to the wrong course. It’s a renewal of a mystery within, an okay-ness with letting the wonder linger.

God is raising the dead hope in me after a season of grief. How this winter has been hard! It has had me grasping for any semblance of certainty in health, relationships, and an elusive inner calm, but I am beginning to see that out of the storm, unexplored stillness appears.

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV)

Steam rises from the mouth of a man’s cup as he lifts to drink; it blends into the air, into these breaths that comprise the day. Yes, all moments are made from little breaths in the middle of the dance. Right now is here and happening. But we are also in the not quite yet, the new still forming.

I remind myself not to look beyond to what is not yet seen. Now comes in the nick of time, soothes the scratches of the past, paves towards the new. “The only moment you have, the only certainty, is the breath you are dispelling,” my heart whispers. “Do not get wrapped up in the fog of the future. God goes to clear the way.”

I do not want to be captive to seeking what’s ahead while discounting today. I want to live in these tiny, molecular moments of an ordinary Tuesday, and this is not something to be missed.

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

Do not rush away this precious time, he tells me, as he invites me to sit, rest, then walk in step with an eternal stride. God does not want me to miss how he is right with me as I am becoming, as I am unknown. When I am straining to navigate through to the next thing, I’m steamrolling him in the right now.

Eternity presses on.

The girl who slides me my espresso has the brightest blue eyes against her raven hair. She recognizes me from my times here before. Just a spark of recognition is enough. I blink and nod my smile, bring my drink back to my little corner table, and breathe in the scent of cinnamon. This is my incense, my reminder to be still. Do not worry about what you cannot control, which is everything. God did not create this life to confound or confine, but to create and calm. Keep cadence in his heartbeat. Keep hope in him.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” (John 14:1 NIV)

These truths are meant to heal, to offer hope that in the remnants of my life, a rhythm within may begin to unfold. I rest in the middle, suspended between what he has done to make space for this beating heart and this trust and dance in what is yet unseen.

Somehow, during the morning the sky has shifted from slate gray to a soft blue breaking through the coming cold. Just a touch, but enough. A hint that warmer days will come.

Sarah Freymuth is a writer and dreamer whose words breathe hope and wonder into the world. She enjoys being by Lake Michigan and her simple Midwest life with her husband, especially when they blend together on Washington Island. Sarah is the communications manager for a global sports ministry, writes for numerous publications, and is the editor of Awake Our Hearts, an online literary journal for the female voice exploring faith and life in full.