Sometimes clarity comes during the last swirl of claret sediment and a casual conversation over a kitchen island, among the spoons stuck with beans from last night’s chili and squiggles of yellow cheese lying like jigsaw puzzle. Harnessing fragmented thoughts to create a window to the soul.

I admit the words out loud. Hear myself ask him, “Is this all there is?” Picking up after the people I love, deciding what to eat for dinner, swiping squiggles off counters, pen daily prose when the destination remains foggy. All this today, only to wake up and start over again?

Is this all there is?

“Yes, this is all there is,” he responds while carrying dirty dishes to the sink, “for today.”

“Do you think that when Sarah wiped the nose of Isaac, stood over dirty dishwater; do you think she wondered if this was all there is,” he asks.

I remember how Sarah laughs unbelieving when God tells her she will conceive a child in her old age (Genesis 21:6). It wasn’t how she envisioned it.

Yes Sarah, wipe the nose of Isaac today because he is the promise of blessing for generations. The number of people his life will impact: like the grains of sand that cover the shore. But for today, pick up his clothes off the floor, feed him a warm breakfast, send him to school, teach him how to pray.

I have an acute fixation called the need to figure things out, nail them down, and then hang them up like trophies. Know where all the drama leads, how what I do today effects the future, if I am doing enough in order to reach the place I am going. This place called Unknown.

And maybe a mid-life crisis is really just God setting an alarm, the pitch of which we can’t hear until we arrive in the middle. The middle of what we envision, blasted free to fulfill the future.  

Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why Did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:13)

What if, what you do today effects eternity, but it’s not how you envision it?

I lean into the island, over the smell of chopped onions, laugh ashamed. Remember Naaman. See myself in the shadow of his story. (II Kings 5)

How Naaman nearly missed the gift of healing from the snowy white horror on his skin because the advice given wasn’t what he envisioned. It seemed foolish and beneath him to walk in and out of river water seven times.

Sometimes life doesn’t look the way we envision it, but God unfolds the mystery of eternity by being faithful in the here and now.

Is this all there is?

No, not if we are willing to be bread and wine poured out for Him. Poured out over a kitchen island full of dirty dishes and menial conversation.

And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. I John 2:17