Do you remember where you were on Y2K? I took a picture of John Michael right at midnight, so I remember vividly. Even though I was somewhere that night where I’d spent many, many moments in my lifetime: Church.
I wrote in my journal a lot that day, because it was such a momentous turning of the century. I was working from home, and on my television in the background Peter Jennings reported celebrations as they happened all around the world – Sydney, Hong Kong… I watched several of them. All the lights stayed on, and nobody imploded just as 2000 rolled around, so that was cool.
I wrote about that and I wrote about my little baby boy sleeping most of the day away as if he didn’t care that he was born in the last quarter of the last year of the MILLENNIUM, and now he was entering a new one. And the next day I wrote about our own celebration when a preacher said to us, “Look around you, and ask yourself if this is where you want to be. Look at your friends and your loved ones. Look at your life, this moment, in this place. Are you supposed to be here?”
I flat-out loved that. I didn’t have any doubts then. Even looking back, I don’t really have doubts about whether or not I was supposed to be there. Even if I don’t like some of the things that preacher taught me over the years and even though I always kind of grumbled when we held church meetings at midnight on New Year’s Eve in the first place. I don’t have doubts, because I love the take-away from that moment. It wasn’t so much, “Are you supposed to be here?” It was more like, “Notice that you ARE.”
I relive that moment all the time. I make myself wake up from the lull we can enter through the monotony of life, or I close my eyes to the race we think is so important that we can’t slow down. And I notice where I am and the people I’m with and the reason we’re there. And almost without fail, I’m glad. Even if for some reason, there’s a piece I need to change, I’m glad, because I might not have known that without the noticing.
I like to think about the billions of people all over the planet, living their lives beside me. One reason I loved visiting Manhattan is because the billions felt so close at hand. ;) And I like to think of them, because when I look at any one of those billions of lives – when I pick it out of the crowd and think about how its troubles and stresses and wonderings are so very similar to the rest of us and how those troubles melt into the whole – then it’s easy to feel that simply waking up to my life, that’s the way to make it matter.
Am I supposed to be here? Absolutely. Right here, right now. These friends, these three boys, this man, this roof, this community. They’re mine. This is the life I’m in, and to own that is to love it.