My third child arrived two weeks after his due date. We lived those two weeks on the other side of a wormhole in a dimension where time moved at the speed of dirt.
There is no way to communicate how much the words "Are you having another contraction yet?" irritated me. My nerves were flailed raw by wave after wave of late-pregnancy hormones, all of my bones ached, acid reflux burned my esophagus after every meal, and deep, restful sleep was a fuzzy memory from the far distant past.
All the signs indicate this new baby may arrive TODAY!
I have been saying that - "Looks like it could be today!" - for two weeks now. Every time I've thought that or said it, I have meant it. I still mean it.
Mom is resting now. Big sister is taking a nap. Dad is catching up on some chores around the farm. The laundry is caught up and the kitchen is tidied, and Grandma is sitting here wondering...
How on earth does a person do life...in the middle of life?
For a brief stretch of time - a day, a week, two weeks - all of life shifts into a slow-motion orbit centered on one particular, who-knows-exactly-when event. A quick run to the grocery store, a walk on the farm, starting a load of laundry, a pan of bread in the oven...every ordinary, this-is-just-life-as-usual activities swing on the thread of one simple question: "Is it time?!"
It's not time yet, or I wouldn't be sitting here typing. Not right this moment, but maybe - very possibly - an hour from now, or two hours, or two days, or a week.
And when, finally, the answer to "Is it time?!" becomes an emphatic "Yes! Now!" - everything else STOPS. When the answer is "Now!", who gives a frog's tooth about clean laundry or dirty dishes in the sink?!
This is life lived very much in the moment, with eyes wide open toward the near future. "Is it time now?"
I can't help but wonder...
This living life in such an urgent, focused pause, this place of such deliberate action and such intense anticipation - "Is it time?!" - is this not where we all live, or where we all should live, every day, between Christ's ascension and his return?
* * *
We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye... - 1 Corinthians 15:51-52