I heard this brilliant advice last night in a Saturday session of Stake Conference. The Main Thing of course, being the big eternal picture.
My Stake President quoted C.S. Lewis on man's Godly potential. C.S. Lewis is on of the people I would like to have tea with in heaven. If there is milk and honey and herbal tea in heaven, and time for such things.
"It is a serious thing," says Lewis, "to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whome we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours." --from The Weight of Glory.
They were speaking primarily about marriage, but as I have gestation and birth on the brain, I kept thinking of babies and kids and I wanted to share a similar quote by Ina May Gaskin's husband Stephen, which is published at the beginning of Spiritual Midwifery.
"When a child is born, the entire Universe has to shift and make room. Another entity capable of free will, and therefore capable of becoming God, has been born. In that way, every child's birth is exactly like the birth of a world teacher. Every child born is a living Buddha. Some of them only get to be a living Buddha for a moment, because nobody believes it. Nobody knows it, and they get treated like they're dumb. Babies are not dumb. Just because they don't speak English doesn't mean they are dumb. A newborn infant is just as intelligent as you are. When you're relating with her, you should consider that you are relating with a very intelligent being who just doesn't speak your language yet. And you shouldn't do anything gross to her before she learns to speak to you."
What a beautiful thing to be reminded. If you're pregnant, there are a great many things (mostly physical) that conspire to slow you down. I learned to be grateful for this, because it removed everything from my focus but the one important task--to grow and nurture a baby. Once that baby is out, however, and your babymoon is over, things speed up again.
After I put her to bed is when I need to write, blog, pack her lunch, read a million books, call some people and maybe do laundry. But, as my friend Diedre says, there are things and then there is the Thing itself. The Thing itself, at this time in my life, is motherhood, and motherhood happens in moments. The things I have to do can wait. I will only have a chance to embrace this moment once, and so I lay heartbeat to heartbeat with her a little longer, and feel the soft breath of her eyelashes against my chest.