Saturday, February 19, 2011

It Is Good That We Are Here

When Peter, John and James witnessed what we refer to as the Transfiguration (Mark 9: 2-13), their reaction was a completely normal one. The wanted to hold on to the moment, capture it, live in it a while. As they saw Jesus talking to Moses and Elijah (representing the Law and the Prophets), they understood in that moment just what and more importantly who Jesus was. And they did not want to let it go. They offered to set up tents, so that all could remain a while.
What they did not understand is that moments like this are fleeting, and we have to enjoy them and appreciate them at the time. Even though we sometimes do not want great moments to end, they always do. And if we are so intent on trying to capture the moment in order to somehow imperfectly preserve it, we miss out on the fullness of the experience. Do you really think that the camera operator is able to appreciate the Super Bowl game?
Wee too have these momentary glimpses of God's presence in our lives. And we have to be careful that we do not allow distractions divert our attention. And once an experience of God's presence is over, we cannot waste time trying to recreate it, since it is not the type of experience that we can have in the same way twice. I wonder, for example, if Peter, John and James were ever tempted to go back to that mountain to see if Moses and Elijah would reappear?
If we live in the past, trying to recapture the joy of a wedding, birth of a child, childhood holiday, we not only become frustrated, but we also can miss the "now" moments of joy. Each day, rather than trying to preserve what has been, we need to search out what is yet to be. The disciples got a glimpse of heavenly bliss. They spent the rest of their lives living in such a way that they could one day enjoy it for all eternity. God wants to interact with us today. Will we realize it when these opportunities come? We will if we are looking for them. And when they do come, we can echo the words of Peter: "It is good that we are here!"

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