Light rays streamed into the living room like a golden river. I stood amidst the beams, astonished. Delighted. Then I felt it. The pain brought me out of my reverie. All week my back hurt from an injury I sustained attempting to practice good exercise habits. The promise on the DVD cover stated, "Aging Backwards." The promise shattered on the first workout. Now aging forward, my best laid plans foiled.
The beauty of that light seemed to penetrate the architecture of my mind as I considered my response to this unexpected event. What if I received the pain as an opportunity to slow my pace? What would that look like?
I could walk without much discomfort. As I moved down the street, I was tempted to bemoan my decelerated steps. I prayed, "God, what does this slowdown mean?" In the chilled air, I heard leaves rustling, the intermittent cries of seagulls. When I reached the amber-colored waters of the tidal creek, I placed my hand on the trunk of the ancient oak, a friend. I could feel the ridges of its bark, even through my woolen gloves. As I looked out over the landscape, I noticed a hawk gazing, too, in the top branches of a pine tree. We two creatures shared a certain kinship in our musings.
In the still morning, my spirit suffused with peace, I sensed God speaking to me. "A slower pace can be something to savor. You'll have some time to read more, listen to those audible books you're enjoying now. You'll be able to watch that list of independent films you have on hold at the library. You can take more lesisurely walks and make observations like you've done today. You can tend to concentrate a little too much on lists and performance anyway, Priscilla. I'd like to see you enjoy life more. It's not about hurrying to the next task. I'd like to see you absorb many of the victories you've had over these months to keep writing and pursuing your book project. All is right. Enjoy my affection for you. Enjoy your freedom in me."
And so it goes. More slowly. I think of myself setting sail on that golden river enjoying the passage, wind speeds calm, my sails taut with the breath of His light and love.