we are rough drafts

In The New Yorker, **November 26, 2007, this poem was published … 

Our life is ordinary,
I read in a crumpled paper
abandoned on a bench.
Our life is ordinary,
the philosophers told me.

Ordinary life, ordinary days and cares,
a concert, a conversation,
strolls on the town’s outskirts,
good news, bad—

but objects and thoughts
were unfinished somehow,
rough drafts.

That phrase, “our lives are rough drafts” catches my eye.  In school we are always asking students to polish their work, necessarily so, and yet in life, we don’t get that opportunity very often.  Instead, we live in the ordinary, the typical daily events of life.  Once done, it’s done without the chance, the opportunity to edit, re-do, or polish. We are rough drafts.

With that in mind, we need to recognize God in the ordinariness of life because otherwise we will miss him. There is little opportunity to edit, re-do, or polish, to add God back in. Once done, the moment is gone.

Eugene Peterson writes in Leap Over a Wall, “We can’t get away from God; he’s there whether we like it or not, whether we know it or now.  We can refuse to participate in God; we can act as if God weren’t our designer, provider, and covenant presence. But when we refuse, we’re less; our essential humanity is less.”

He is Immanuel, God with us.  He is here, in the ordinariness of life.

“And he walks with me and he talks with me And he tells me I am his own.” Enjoy his presence today in the “stuff” of your life!



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