I stood on the deck smoking my pipe, despite the light drizzle falling from the nearly night sky, slowly turning from gray to black. Tonight I can’t shake the restlessness that is usually only a light breeze, barely noticeable, but that sometimes comes in gusts I cannot ignore. And tonight I can’t ignore it. I wonder why longing and desire, yearning and ache, are often so vague and ambiguous, formless and shapeless. Yet they are unseen giants that blot out the sky, invisible ghosts felt but not known. Whatever they are, they follow behind me and lead in front me, they remain ever present as the days pass. I have no name for these nameless emotions lodged in my gut. The years of wandering have put them there. And the years have given what they never take away. The path is not always clear, the journey not always forthright in where it wants to lead us. The words desiring voice remain stuck in my chest, like smoke in the lungs, waiting to be exhaled. My greatest fear is of a wasted life, of meaningless years lived in insignificance.
I don’t trust my heart much anymore; I don’t even know if I believe in what it holds. What if I’ve always been waiting to follow my heart, instead of believing, trusting, acting, in order for my heart to follow me. It’s always been up to me, it’s always been my choice. My heart may not be ready, but I’ve always been. Not a day has passed when I haven’t had enough, when I haven’t been enough. We’ve all been given something; it’s a disservice to ourselves and others to wait for our hearts to move us, to wait until this or that moment, to wait for this or that alignment of the stars. My heart, a moment, the universe itself, these do not dictate my actions; my heart’s inconsistencies, the moment’s brevity, and the universe’s vagueness do not give me any excuse to put off what I have the ability to do right here and now, in the present. All of us, we’ve been given a cup, large or small, full of blessing, of magic, of love, meant to be poured out.
And my cup is full.
Have you ever looked back, staring into that glorious expanse or dark abyss, and wondered: What does it all mean? What was it all for? Is there purpose, is there meaning, to my past, to all of my experiences? I’ve asked these questions for many years and wondered in silence about the answers. I’ve wrestled with the significance of what I’ve seen, and felt, of where I’ve gone and what I’ve done; of the light I’ve sailed upon and the darkness I’ve borne the weight of. In many a black night of restlessness of the heart and wandering of the mind I’ve asked, What do I do with… all of this?
For all of us, the question of greatest significance is this: What are we to do with what we have? Or, greater yet: What are you doing with what you have?
Our minds, our hearts even, they play tricks on us, they deceive us, they lie to us, attempting to persuade us of the reality of some untruth. Yes, sometimes they speak in honesty, but sometimes they do not. We cannot afford to be led astray by the darkness — manifesting confusion, discouragement, fear, doubt, and unbelief — when we are called (to be) children of light. All of us, we have a cup, full of light and life to be given, not hidden. We all have something, if only some thing, to give.
As for me, I’m fighting to no longer listen to the aforementioned darkness and all of its manifestations of deception, and instead to believe in, walk in, and disperse this light; this light I cannot always see, but believe to be. I’m going to pour out from this cup and from it give what I have, whether little or much. I’m choosing to believe it contains something worth spilling, that I have something worth saying; if I don’t, I am untrue to myself, and (even if inadvertently) saying that my Creator has made me and given me less than enough; and I am withholding blessing from a world in need of light and life. Could it be that I am even withholding from the world Jesus himself, seeking to love (the world) through me?
And my cup, though small, is full.