The day to end all days begins like any other. I awaken in the same bed. I begin an awkward stumble down the hall, but… even before my synapses have warmed, I can sense it. Something is strange. Nice strange. Really nice strange.
I am filled with the abiding sensation that everything is worked out. The center of my being is a field of possibility and satisfaction. Nothing hangs over me and nothing begs for attention. There will be a steady stream of unexpected events and happenstance this day, to be sure, but these will not be setbacks. I can already tell. Somehow… I made this choice. Somehow… this choice is so complete, it is no longer a choice. Events happen. The meaning, however, has already been decided.
The day’s lane closures and deadlines will not be derailments or impediments. They will not be reasons to begin muttering under my breath, enumerating my woes. My tendency to assign blame will be on par with the inclination of ten million year old stones in high meadow to feel aggrieved when their birthday passes without a party. There will be a steady stream of unexpected events and happenstance, to be sure, but they will be discoveries. Revelations. Gentle intrigue.
A joyous surprise.
It doesn’t matter what happened the day before, whether or not my body will be on the commuter rail in forty-five minutes, or still locked in a cell, or standing in a field of sharp-edged sound waves emanating from a dissatisfied air traveler, or swimming in the lake. The really nice strange can hold all of it with aplomb. The really nice strange sees only what truly is.
I’ve come to realize every single day begins this way, as an invitation from Forever, and an opportunity to discover something completely new. Our days are like a broad beach of seashells. Once, long ago, I put the shells to my ear with delight, to listen to the ocean, but later I came to the conclusion that they all sound more or less the same. Somewhere along the line I stopped picking them up to listen.
Jesus visited me this morning and he said, “Pick up a shell and take dictation.” He told me I have no idea what seashells are for. On the day to end all days I know with certainty that I could drive down to the beach, pick up a seashell, and hear the Voice of Creation. Holiness arrives en masse because it is the only meaning I desire or comprehend.
That day, I will be seated on a blanket at the beach, holding a shell up to my ear, and it will look like I am taking dictation, but by then I’ll be on the phone with Creation, speaking with the Help Desk, trying to understand why I’ve been carrying a plastic card with me everywhere I go with my picture on it, and my name and address. Did I really used to be that forgetful of who I am?