Looking for a second poem to read I came across “08/22/08” - by David Lehman.
I have never been a person who is able to recall where I was when great events in history happened. I don’t know where I was when Martin Luther King was assassinated – playing, most likely. I don’t know where I was when John Lennon was shot – playing, most likely. Or when men took their first steps on the moon. Or when the two towers were destroyed on 9/11. I can’t remember anything about what I was doing, nothing caught my eye outside or inside, no particular sense of history in the making, nothing. I have to admit that it bothers me. Am I so much the centre of my own universe that other things, other people, unless it impinges directly on me, just don’t count?
There’s another search that has been going on for a much longer time. It’s this whole My One Word thing. Last year the word was Contineo, the Latin word for “connect”. The English word would have done sufficiently well, but the writer in me demanded something poetic. Did I connect? Actually, yes. The desire to connect led to some very unexpected but inevitable changes. I have made mew friends and embraced new “families”. I have also connected at a deeper level with friends I have known for a while and the various groups I am involved in. It’s not all been successful but then, not everything we get involved in will be. There are re-connections still to be made.
This year’s word, another Latin one, is Possido – the Latin word for “occupy”. Possido can be translated as hold, inherit, occupy, possess or seize. Occupy is defined as:- “to take possession of by settlement or seizure, to hold possession of by tenure, to dwell in, to take up or fill up (space, time, etc.) or to employ, busy, or engage (oneself, one's attention, mind, etc.)
You see, maybe I don’t remember all these moments in history because I don’t fully occupy my life. I don’t stretch out and fill every moment and every corner with thoughts, feelings and experiences. In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” The NLT puts it this way – “a rich and satisfying life.” I’m not sure that I would describe my life that way. My life is only lightly occupied.
Throughout advent and the Christmas period I have been challenging myself to write a poem a day. I have a week or so worth of poems to catch up on but a short one, a haiku perhaps is this one:-
Heaven’s king comes down
Jesus at ease in His skin
touches a leper
Jesus fully occupied every moment of his days on earth. He was at ease in His skin, not fretting about stuff. Nowhere is scripture do you read of Jesus chewing his fingernails or fretting about who was or wasn’t listening to his teaching. He just took responsibility for what He was given to do and did it wholeheartedly. He wasn’t half involved but fully.
That is my challenge to myself this year – to be at ease in my skin and to fully occupy every moment of the days I have been given this year.