Main . . .

daughters handsI gently reached down and touched her chapped hands. Tenderly they rested on the pew in front of us as we chorused our way through five verses of “We Three Kings.” Her hands have grown over the years, no longer balled into tiny fists; no longer reaching outward to explore a rattler or a peg board. Time has shaped her hands in accordance with the calendar, but I will always recognize them. No matter the weathering that life may bring to them, my daughter’s hands are forever burned into memory. As I stood alongside my Amelia and bravely sang the stanzas, I pondered this heart truth from my friend, Alicia:

This is“main” (Anonymous, pp. 18 – 21). “Main is not behind us. Nor is main way out ahead of us.” (Anonymous, p. 21) Yes! This is the moment I’ve been waiting for. Not tomorrow’s soon-to-be; not yesterday’s once-was. No, those moments aren’t here for me to hold. This one is. This is main. And this is enough.

I spent a lot of my earlier years striving for the main of my tomorrows. It would be easy for me to conclude (in these my latter years) that main has already been . . . that at forty-six, I’ve had my main moments. The rest of them, what’s left? Perhaps the crumbs or the last scrape of batter from the cake bowl. That’s what the world would have me to believe, the enemy as well. But God’s belief system takes a grand departure from the ordinary. God has something more to say about my main.

“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2)

Now. Not yesterday; not tomorrow. Now salvation. Now deliverance. Now preservation. Now safety.

Now . . . Jesus.

There’s no greater main than Jesus. Hold him—touch his weathered hands while chorusing his weathered journey—and all moments become sacredly main.

Less looking back at a past hard to remember. Less staring into a future not easily predicted. Instead, more . . .  beautifully more, gazing into the moment right in front of me. In a pew; at the kitchen sink; sitting in traffic; under the covers; while conversing with a good book, a good friend, even with a blank computer screen. Wherever I am and whatever my hands find to do, these are all main because God is there with me. To delight in him and with him, even in the seemingly mundane, makes all of life a grand and glorious celebration. I’m not there yet, but I’m not far from taking hold of it.

“Glorious now behold Him arise,

King and God and Sacrifice;

Alleluia, Alleluia!

Earth to heaven replies.

O star of wonder, star of night,

Star with royal beauty bright;

Westward leading, still proceeding,

Guide us to thy perfect light.”

His star still leads me, and the earthly in me still cries out to the heavenly in him . . .

“Guide me, precious Jesus, to your perfect light.”

Today is main, no matter the moments in front of us, friends. Receive them sacredly, grasp them tenderly, and protect them fiercely. God’s light shines in them all. As always . . .

Peace for the journey,

PS: Today I have the privilege of making available to one of you, the audio version of Anonymous: Jesus’ Hidden Years and Yours by Alicia Chole. Leave a comment today, sharing with me about living your main in the mundane. Where have you found Jesus today? I’ll draw a winner with my next post. Shalom.

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27 Responses to Main . . .

  1. Oh Elaine, living in the moment…the today…is such a struggle for me. I’m not given to living in the past. Nope! That is not a problem for me. It’s the hope of the future…the ‘what might happen’ or the ‘what I desire to happen’ that keeps me bound and unable to live in the moment of today.

    I began to realize this several months ago and have purposely worked on it. I’m doing better, but it is still a struggle. I loved this post and I loved ANONYMOUS when I read it.

  2. This moment-by-moment living thing I had to learn the hard way following my youthful battle with alcoholism. At first my drinking was little more than a fun foray along with all my other college-aged BFFs having similar “fun”. Then it turned sinister. I began to to use alcohol hide from the pain of past losses/failures, and retreat from the fear of tomorrow’s “might be”s. I lost sight of who I was. Alas, the bottom rose up to meet me and I fell headlong into the joy of God’s promises for TODAY. Sometimes I have to re-visit the lesson, but I shall never, ever forget it. This is a needful thing you speak of here.

    Much love,
    Kathleen

    • Re-visiting the lesson has often served as a strong anchor for the choices in front of me. I don’t ever want to forget where I’ve been and how far the Lord has brought me. I thank God for the lessons learned, even though they were costly!

  3. Profound words my friend, and a beautiful challenge to see Jesus in the sacred now. As one who has spent seasons of life looking too far ahead, and others looking back with regret, I appreciate this reminder that Jesus inhabits my every moment…the ordinary mundane just as much (if not more) than the grand, and that BY NO MEANS is my main behind me. = ) Much love to you…Tracy

  4. wifeforthejourney:

    If there has been a recurrent struggle in my life it is with my temptation to MAJOR on MINOR things. Ahhh, fellow readers, this is no revelation to my wife, just my honest confession: I am easily distracted. I suppose it is part of my love of spontaneity…..I am not one of those people who just adores having every minute pre-programmed. Sometimes that works well for me; sometimes not so much. It is not easy to balance the demands of the moment against following through on the things that matter most.

    Today is another day for me to be thankful for you; you and our children are (so often) God’s prefered way of keeping me on track! Love you,

    ~ Billy

  5. In life years, my “main” is 18 years ahead of YOUR “main”; probably with less “mains” than you have ahead of you… So cease thinking that at 46 you have little “main” left. Fact is we all have the same “main” allotted to us, right?

    The concept of “main” could distract my from my REAL “main”, so I’d best be ON with it!

    (And again thank you for introducing me to “anonymous”.

    • It all comes back around to Jesus. Simply and profoundly Jesus. With him as our “main” and our “next”, all of life has great purpose. Keep to it.

  6. Elaine,

    The MAIN is what is in front of me today. This afternoon I will be spending time with my sweet mother. She lives in a nursing home. Sometimes she has very hard days. My MAIN is to show her worth to me…to remind her that she has worth with so many people where she lives.

    Each day God presents me with a MAIN. I must have my eyes on HIM in order to live in the MAIN.

    • As Alica has said in another resource (Intimate Conversations, I think): “Focus on what is small, not big; near, not far.” Your small and near (time with your mom) is large in our Father’s eyes. I know you’ll find him there. Blessings and peace to you as you travel these next steps.

  7. Such a needed word for me today Elaine! It seems to be so much easier for me to think about the victories of the past and the hopes of the future than it is to do the ”main” of today!! So guilty I am! Am trying to do better this year. I do so love how God gives you what I need to hear!

    Love you my faithful friend!

    Marilyn

  8. Main. Living in the main. Daily a goal I often do not meet. I find myself often holding my breath to hurry through whatever ‘main’ I have put my hand to; even something as simple as brushing my teeth — so I can move on to the next thing. Often that next thing is the bed because I have been up way too long; or to the kitchen because I have tarried too long with the pillow. So I rush; rush to sleep and rush more when I wake.
    And with this post you have confirmed what HE has spoken to me in many yesterdays. Breathe! And I am beginning to obey, even with brushing my teeth. 🙂 slowing it down, giving Him a moment to love on me so I won’t rush on . . .

    • Awesome, Kathie! It’s a beautiful thing when this all takes hold. You’ll know it as it arrives. I’m feeling the shift even now.

  9. I am leading a small group through “anonymous” starting tonight! I’ve gone through it so many times, but it is so refreshing and renewing to go through it all over, again!

  10. How I long to live in the moment with full awareness of Jesus with me. He is, but my awareness flits away from me like a butterfly. I am so glad HE doesn’t!!! 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder with more of your powerful words!!!
    {I have never heard of anonymous. I will have to look into that!}

  11. I have to be honest, I’m in a difficult “main” right now. I keep asking the Lord to show me moments of grace while I walk this road. I’m more apt to strain at this “main” than embrace it. I know there are times to be treasured, and praying I will see the Lord in mom’s brokenness and dad’s confusion. May I find delight in this season of serving and loving and selfless giving.

    Lord, help me not to be looking for a way out, or for the next thing, but enable me to live content in You in these moments of my “main”,
    Joy

  12. Elaine, got to thinking after leaving my comment yesterday, I’m afraid I might not actually use an audio format of Anonymous so please leave my name out of the draw. Am really not into audio formats and would rather someone else who loves that kind of thing get to win it.

    • It’s nice to have you here, Jennifer. Alicia really explores this topic so deeply and significantly in her book. I know you’d love every single word of it!

  13. What a balm to my soul today, Elaine. I struggle so much with being a *now* person. I battle so often with those future *what-ifs* – and so this post spoke deeply to my heart. Yes, today is what matters – for today is the day that God has promised to give me my DAILY bread.

    And the concept of main? I LOVE that.

    Jesus is main – and so is his main dish, daily manna.

    GOD BLESS!

  14. My problem has always been keeping the main thing the main thing. Living – savoring – the here and now has never come easily to me. I confess I’m guilty of saying “if only” and “what if” too many times in my life.

    Dwelling on the past, worrying about the future…that doesn’t help one bit. God tells us in Matthew 6 not to worry. Thank you for reminding me that I need to keep my focus on Jesus – my main man. 🙂

  15. Thank you for the reminder. Right now my “main” takes more leaning on Jesus than ever before. I am grateful for that intimacy in some sense but it does make life tough! One step at a time, one moment at a time, quite literally.