When I was pregnant with my first child, the doctor told me that the hardest part of the entire process was going to be giving up control.
I laughed it off and proceeded to write out a three-page birth plan, which later had the labor and delivery staff laughing.
No one was laughing as I entered my forty-fourth hour of labor, but now eighteen years later I can see the humor in it all.
I wish I had let that time of surrender permeate me. Instead I tolerated the elements I couldn’t control, planned what I could, and then moved back to trying to control and plan everything possible once the baby came.
What I didn’t realize was that time of unpredictability and waiting was preparing me for all that was to come. It was training me to be a better mother, sister, wife. It was readying me for a future life, which was far more self-donative and much less predicable than the life I was living.
In the opening lines to today's Scripture, Saint Peter talks about waiting for the Lord (2 Peter 3:12-13). How we carry ourselves during any time of waiting is important, whether we are waiting for a big event, a little hope to be fulfilled, or our eternal welcome home.
When we are waiting for something big, we are forced to live in the present even as we anticipate the future. In doing so, we can become either obsessed with some future event or milestone, or we can choose to ground ourselves purposefully in the present.
There is beauty in living in the present, in the silence, in the chaos, in the face-to-face interaction, and in the peaceful moments of prayer. And it is in the present that we are able to grow in grace.
God’s plan for us is a radical improvement over anything we could dream up. Rather than chasing our future or becoming concerned over God’s master plan for our life, let’s take time today to appreciate the present as a full and beautiful day in God’s special plan.