A chirp from my phone let me know there was a SMS waiting for me to read. As I glance at the “let’s catch up” message, I realized it was more than an invitation to share what was going on in life. Sometimes requests are more than what they seem. In this case, there seem to be an urgency and candor underlying the words.
As the day unfolded, the opportunity to meet seemed less and less likely. Conflicting priorities, rain, and scheduled appointments were barriers that defied my ability to control. My earlier optimism had slowly melted into a reluctant resignation that things were not going to work. As I exited my last appointment, I was started drafting my regrets. A random glance as the time changed everything.
As we sat talking a short time later, I realized our conversation was less about getting an update on my life and more about the uncertainties and challenges in the present. As we talked I could feel a sense of awareness, comfort, and peace wrapping itself around me. The problems were still here; I could see them more clearly than before. The obstacles and uncertainties were still coming in and out of view; I knew that I had more help than I could see. In the chaos, I could see a bit more clearly.
I walked away with a feeling that I was richer for the time I had spent with another. I also realized that I often miss invitations to catch up. It is as if my busyness, priorities, and deliverables dictate what I can and cannot hear. As I think of my break and of others who have regularly caught up, I heard David’s quiet conversation. “Close the book on Evil, God, but publish your mandate for us. You get us ready for life: you probe for our soft spots, you knock off our rough edges.” (Psalm 7.9) Each is a reminder in its own right.
In the quietness of a tropical morning, nothing seems to be moving. It is a perfect time to catch up.