living forward – beyond the screenshot
Tuesday morning, trying to turn my iPhone off as I headed into an interview, I inadvertently took a screen shot that captured the moment and saved it for posterity.
It’s all right there. 10:58 in the morning. Tuesday, August 7. My battery was at 90%. Verizon was giving me four out of five possible bars. The phone was locked.
This screen shot is completely reliable… for that moment. But this morning, just 48 hours later, the power is reading 100%, there are bunches of new photographs on board, emails have been saved or deleted, social media applications have been running constantly, and the insistent, persistent data stream is continually updating.
Point being, that’s not my phone. It’s just an image from a moment in time.
WORK in PROGRESS: This next picture shows the new curtains Rebekah put up this week. We’re going for a fresher, cleaner look. A house is always a continual work in progress. If it’s not remodeling it’s cleaning, or painting, or hanging drapes, or replacing furniture that smells like dog.
If you do nothing to a house it doesn’t stay the same, it deteriorates. There is no such thing as taking a screenshot of a home and then keeping it that way. Life happens; people come through; children charge around like herds of elephants; the labradoodle (labrapony) charges around, well, like a labradoodle; change is inevitable.
The question is not “if” change will happen, but “how?” Our opportunity is to be proactive rather than reactive.
KEEP TRACK OF THE CHANGES: The third picture is of Rebekah, sharing an afternoon coffee with me in our favorite part of the house. Again, another moment in time, captured. We tend to take to what we call “the tea room” at least a couple of times a day. It’s our deliberate conversation area. No television, no distractions. Just treasured old books, comfy chairs, and being deliberate about communication.
It’s where we get to keep track of the changes. Like the iPhone, like the house, we are continual works in progress. There’s this non-stop data stream pouring information and challenges and opportunities and questions and glitches and more into our lives. We could take a screen-shot and try to pretend nothing ever changes but it would – instantaneously – be out of date.
INCREASINGLY ALIVE: Rebekah and I may be in our mid-fifties now, but we are still very much – and I believe increasingly – vibrantly alive. We’re thrilled about the fact that we are different people than we were five years ago, last year… yesterday. And we’re sitting on the edge of our seats wondering what God will do with us next.
This is the nature of being alive! These posts are screenshots, in a way.
And so, rather than conclude today with just a Bible passage, how about this quote from Marty McFly in the original Back to the Future movie. He takes a guitar on the stage, looks around at the members of the band, and says this (if my memory is correct):
Listen up, guys. Blues riff in B. Watch me for the changes, and try to keep up.
Watch me for the changes. Try to keep up – DEREK
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4)