From the moment we wake up to the moment our head hits the pillow, most of our days are filled with acts of going from here to there. We get up out of bed and we become perpetual motion machines: we go to the kitchen, to the shower, to our cars, to work, to lunch, to home, to the dinner table, to our kids sports events, then eventually back to bed. Where we are going in every instance might be a short distance or a long one. We might be moving at 600 miles per hour on a plane or at the much slower pace of the shoe leather express. But wherever we are going, however we get there and however fast we may be moving, for most of our lives we are in motion, just trying to get from Point A to Point B, because there’s something at Point B we need to do. And when we’re done with that, we’re off again, to the next Point B, even if that Point B is just the bathroom.
In all of our travels between A’s to B’s, there is one thing in common: no matter where we travel around this world, regardless how fast we’re moving, the sweep of the second hand remains a constant in our life. We’re always progressing forward. But where are we looking on our way?
Sometimes our list of Point B’s is so long and we’re moving so fast that we don’t have time to look around, to see who and what is around us. Like Christmas shoppers making a beeline to get that one forgotten gift in the last seconds before the store closes, our gaze is locked straight ahead on where we’re going next. No time to look around to the sides, we’re on a mission.
Sometimes our list of Point B’s is shorter. We can take the time to actually savor that first cup of coffee, that walk with the dog, the extra few minutes in the shower. We can take in the world around us instead of ignoring it as it blurs by outside our car window. Indeed, days like these recharge us and keep us going when the other days have lots of Point B’s.
Then there are moments in our lives that put all of our Point B’s on pause. Sometimes it’s something amazing. Anyone who has ever seen the northern lights will tell you that the first time you see them in person, you can’t help but stop and look to the sky. The seconds turn into minutes as you stand there, jaw dropped, marveling at the heavenly display that is much like their Heavenly creator: ever ancient, and ever new. And sometimes the thing that interrupts our travels to the next Point B is something devastating. Our gaze lowers from the sky to the ground at our feet as we contemplate our very next step; the list of Point B’s we were traveling toward is now seemingly very unimportant.
No matter what, the march of time beats on… tick… tick… tick… and there’s no way to change it, no way to alter the progress of time. We can’t speed up the seconds to get past the bad parts. We can’t slow them down to savor the good parts. We can’t go back in time to fix our mistakes. All we have is the moment we are living in right now. Where are we going? What is our next Point B? Where are we looking?
In the midst of all of life’s A’s and B’s, our Lord calls us to Him, to look to Him, to join with Him in celebration and in sacrifice, in petition and thanksgiving, in adoration and reparation. He calls to us and for a moment, if we let it, we are absorbed into His time, the time of the eternal. He calls us to savor the beauty of the liturgy, to fill our noses with sweet incense, to be lost in the truth of His word. In the midst of our A’s and B’s, we are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb, to dine on the bread of angels, so that our souls may be nourished for our journey as we travel from our alpha to our omega, from our beginning to our end, from our life’s A to our life’s B.