The greatness of now.

One of my favorite quotes is by Josef Pieper, a German Catholic philosopher: “One who is happy steps away from the parceling up of time and into a reposeful Now, in which everything is simultaneous.” I love everything about this little philosophical blip, and I have spent much time thinking of how it rings so true to the narrative that I ascribe to and the life which I lead.  

Stepping away from the parceling up of time is not something that comes naturally to me. I like to be micro-organized, thought out, and diligent. There is a joy, however, to fully experiencing a moment without thought of time, plan, or purpose…just the moment, nothing else.

The ‘reposeful Now’ of which Pieper speaks is what I love. I’m not going to pretend to know why he chose to capitalize the word ‘now’, but coupled with my beliefs, I think it’s significant grammar. Now is now, there was never supposed to be anything else than what is happening in this moment. Everything that has happened in your personal and world history was supposed to happen to lead to this moment, and it is all simultaneously beautiful. 

There are moments in my life when I am struck by the beauty and greatness of my life’s now. 

This morning it hit me, as I was preparing my breakfast, drinking coffee, and listening to a Brian McLaren podcast.

Religiously, I’ve never been more contently happy. Reflecting on all the things and people that my story has encountered to put me right where I am is an amazing barrel of monkeys. Four years ago, my friend Emily suggested I read Shane Caliborne’s Irresistible Revolution,  which I haphazardly picked up on a beach trip, without consciously remembering she had suggested it. Then Shane came to Nashville to speak, and after inviting my friends to come with me, my friend Micah thought that I was open-minded/religiously open enough to read my friend Kevin Beck’s book This Book Will Change Your World (I wasn’t ready, and in a way it did change my world). That lead to going to the Transmillennial Conference and meeting Tim King, who later suggested that I read Samir Selmanovic’s book It’s Really About God. Who I met randomly (or not so randomly) on the subway when I was in New York this past fall. Then there’s also how I happened to practically stumble into a class at a church when I was teetering on the brim of atheism and met my friend John, who helped start a conversation between an atheist and Christians, which lead to great friendships and a weekly conversation about God, morality, religions, and occasionally Charlie Sheen. 

It is also through my connection with John that I have met a group of people who took to an idea that I had a couple of years ago, and saw the need and potential for something like that to happen and gave a new life to it. I’m helping to organize a community meal for approximately 150 people who live at a temporary campground. The meal’s going to take place in April, and we’re still in the planning stage. The feeling of an idea that I had a long time ago coming to life, making people excited, and the people it will help is fantastic.

It is amazing, though, how I can see how my life has converged to this moment, this now. All the people that I have met, experiences I’ve had, and opportunities in front of me have allowed me to be this, and it is a beautiful repose.

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