I was regretting the past
And fearing the future.…
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:
"MY NAME IS I AM."
I waited. He continued,
"WHEN YOU LIVE IN THE PAST,
WITH ITS MISTAKES AND REGRETS,
IT IS HARD. I AM NOT THERE.
MY NAME IS NOT I WAS.
"WHEN YOU LIVE IN THE FUTURE,
WITH ITS PROBLEMS AND FEARS,
IT IS HARD. I AM NOT THERE.
MY NAME IS NOT I WILL BE.
"WHEN YOU LIVE IN THIS MOMENT,
IT IS NOT HARD,
I AM HERE.
MY NAME IS I AM."
This is a poem called “I AM”, written by Helen Mallicoat. I thought of it earlier today as I was taking a hot shower, I allowed the steam to clear my sinuses, and the heat to relax my muscles. As I was sitting in the back of the tub listening to the sound of water, I let it clear and relax my mind as well.
Today began like many others, with a reluctance to get out of bed, and a mental list of what I might want to accomplish. My first thoughts were of working on my novel at Starbucks, then doing some laundry while I worked on my latest mini album project. I soon decided to skip Starbucks and go straight for laundry.
It didn’t take me long to get everything gathered – hamper, detergent, milk crate full of creating supplies, laptop – and head to my preferred laundry facility (the washer and dryer in the FES Resource Room). I started a load of wash, and decided to go over to Moscow to look for a few things at WinCo.
This turned out to be a bad decision. I made it there with no problems, having put some oil in at Franklin before I left, and some fuel in at Safeway. I went into the store and looked around but couldn’t concentrate – too many people, hadn’t taken my Adderall yet – so I didn’t end up buying anything, but it was a nice diversion. It feels good to just drive sometimes. When I started my car there was a bit of white smoke from the back, but that happens on occasional cold days.
Well, about the time I was turning out of the parking lot to head back to Pullman, I noticed the white smoke hadn’t disappeared; in fact, it was now pouring out of my exhaust. I pulled over and checked it out, turned off my car, opened the hood (what I was looking for I couldn’t tell you, to be honest). I called a friend who happens to be a mechanic and asked if he thought it would be safe to drive back to town. He said probably not but I could try it.
So I did. I ended up pulling over two more times, texting a friend for help, and eventually stopping in the Moscow Wal-Mart parking lot and calling a tow truck. This very kind friend met me there, took me to the ATM in Pullman, then to the Auto Repair to pay the man, to Franklin to get my stuff, and back home to my cozy apartment and adorable little hamster baby. All it cost me was almost $100 that I don’t have, a great deal of tears (of frustration), and some stress.
Which brings us back to the hot shower. As I was relaxing and clearing I thought about walking to work this week, about how I would pay for whatever is wrong with my car, about how close I came to being caught up enough that I had money left between paychecks – about how irresponsible I can be sometimes, which only brings needless stress (and doesn’t help my high blood pressure problem). That’s when I heard it, that voice, quietly whisper….I AM.
I realized that I have been neglecting this most important of all love relationships, the one with my Creator, Savior, and Best Friend. He never left, never gave up on me, never stopped waiting for me to give up and let go – let go and let God. I have no control over the future, or the past, and to be honest, not a lot of control over anything in the present right now either. At least that’s how I feel. There are only a few things that make up my life – a job, a home, family, friends, art, and God. No family is nearby, so I depend on friends, who have families of their own, and that’s hard for me; hard to ask for help, and hard to be so isolated.
My job is stressful because I don’t know how to help one student, but I also can’t seem to figure out how to ask for help. Every time I try, the responses I get show me that I’m not asking the right questions. My apartment is a mess because I come home feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, meaning I zone out or turn to the one freedom I desperately cling to….my art. Here’s where the missing piece becomes glaringly apparent: where is I AM in all of this mess?
Like I said, He’s right here beside me, waiting for me to turn to Him and say….yes. Yes I need You, yes I want You in my life every day, yes I love You and I want to know how it feels to be loved by You. Remind me. Some days I forget. Yes I know You are leading and guiding. Yes I trust You with my life. Yes, I have been living in the past, but….no buts. Yes, I have been fearing the future, but….no buts. Just yes. Yes….I am HERE, right now, in this moment. With You.