The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 84
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
–Luke 1:38 (ESV)
The ever-changing shadows of life flooded Mary’s senses, like they do to everyone else. Yet for her, they created no illusion. On the contrary, they filled her with faith in him who is always the same. You can go now, archangel. You are a shadow. Your moment has passed, and you disappear. Mary has already moved on—she never stops moving on—and you are already far behind her. But the Holy Spirit, whose work is deeper than that which can be seen, will never leave her.
–Jean Pierre de Caussade
In this life, the most sublime and exhilarating spiritual experiences will come to an end, as did Mary’s angelic visitation. Notice how Jean Pierre de Caussade pictures Mary quietly moving on to the next thing that God had for her to do. She did not cling to the moment, as wonderful as it was. If she had tried, it would have been a sign that she was losing her clarity, blurring the reality of the past into an illusion. For when we cling to the past, we distort it.
The angel fulfilled the will of God for the moment; for him to have stayed longer would not have been obedience. Obedience is what matters.
The angel in this story can represent any enjoyable moment or season in your life. When the moment departs, and you cannot follow it, then it is time to go your own way. Be like Mary, as Jean Pierre de Caussade describes her, moving on without hesitation, already far down the road, holding onto the one thing that matters, ready to let go of all the rest.
The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.