[I am at SXSW this week, delighting in some of my favorite things: artists, stories and friends. But every year this week brings with it ever increasing anxiety. The more I enjoy something, the more panicked I become that something might sabotage my experience. I wrote this to a friend in an email yesterday, and thought I’d share.]
It feels like fear. It feels like panic, crouching and creeping in the corners of my heart. But how can that be? What threat do I face? What is so precious to me that I will kill and strategize to keep it safe?
The magic. The magic I have felt before that I am desperate to feel again. I am trying to recreate the past. I am trying to force the future.
So I am anxious. Because I am an event planner tasked with planning an event that I have no ability to control.
Magical moments are not made by human hands. The necessary ingredients cannot be purchased by me. No amount of strategy can program them. And I know it. So I tremble.
There was a time when I was an orphan, starved of magical moments. No joy could be had for me but the scraps I would steal from His throne and His people. I had no access to the Magic Maker. No right, no ability to ask for anything, so I would scheme and strategize and set up traps to try to capture the lightning in a bottle.
I am the child of One who lights the skies on a whim and makes the molecules melt into magic any time He sees fit. And He has designed this week with me in mind. He has created artists to make stories and sounds that minister to the very specific present version of me.
I don’t need to try to create magic, or steal it or recreate it from days gone by. You are the writer of magic and You have written it for me this week if I will open my arms to embrace it.
Besides, there is no magic but You. You are the ingredient that determines the degree of pleasure and in Your presence I have the magic I crave.
There are no magical moments past that can be remade and there are no magical moments meant for me ahead that I can create or avoid.
Help me receive and not hunt. Help me squeeze my eyes shut, ready to be pushed wherever you would have me go and receive the gift of story and sound infused with You.
Let me surrender to be tugged by the currents of time and circumstance, without need to cling or scramble against the pull because I know You steward all to bring me where we are supposed to be.
Help me hold out my hands to receive what You will give, not comparing to what I’ve had before or peering ahead to see what might be next; not living in the shadow moments past or the longing for moments future, but receiving moments present.
Even now as I type these words and I sit in this room in a hotel that I love in a way that is utterly unique. Eating food that delights my senses with coffee in hand and Our song streaming in my ears. Even now, You are giving me all that I could want if I would just receive it.
Father, you have written for me the perfect week. You have written moments into time today with us in mind, just to see our eyes light up. Let us receive them. Let us trust you to make this week what it is. Let us trust that every obstacle is really You keeping your promise to get us where we need to be to encounter you.
Make our senses sensitive to Your nearness. Let us find You.