It’s taken a few years now, but I finally know where I want to live. It’s been a question we discuss within our household now and again as it usually pops up about mid-winter. We begin dreaming of living any place but here in the snowy northland.
Every so often the rest of the household (and since there’s only two of us left…you figure it out) will try to appease me by saying, “Just pick a spot and we’ll move there. Just say the word!”
Well, I finally figured out where it is I want to live. Not sure why I hadn’t thought of it before, but the more I think about it, the more certain I am that I cannot be the only one with this desire.
Where is this place I long to live? Where is this place that is so magnificent that others envision it as do I? The place I want to live is in a magazine!
The perfection on display sends with certainty the signal that all is in order. I love that. Nothing is ever in the state of disarray. Smiles are frozen, beds are made, food never gets eaten which is wonderful because then one never needs to cook again much less have any thought of dirty dishes. Not only is it in order, but the next time I pick up the magazine, it’s all just as I left it since the last time I opened it. It goes without saying, I like that, too.
Best part is that nobody in a magazine ever ages. Year after year all remain the same forever and ever. The house is still decorated neatly for the season it represents, and the family that photographs together stays together.
Bedrooms poetically hold comforters warming hearts while throws are tossed just so…so perfectly, in fact, that we all head to the store to find the look alike to do the likes of in our own homes. The colors accented in a magazine are consistently fresh and beautiful. The furniture placed out-of-doors with soft pillows upon cushioned chairs never gets ruined when the rains come or the winds blow. Nobody has to put the out-of-door lighting away because it’s just there. It’s flat out whimsical.
But truth-be-told, I can’t live in a magazine. So what do I do? I do the next best thing. I buy the magazine and turn each page time and again and each time I do, I enjoy it as much as I did the first time. Why? I don’t have to dust any of it, or clean it, or spend the money to make up those spaces. I just get to enjoy the feeling of being a part of it by looking at it.
After a while, I decided to check out what real living is. For real, I turn to Acts 17:28. It says, “For in Him we live and move and have our being.”
Since we move, and live, and have our being in Him, I decided to look for further clarity and came across 2 Cor. 5:7. It says, “For we live by faith, not by sight.”
I pause. I pause at the last line because sometimes I know my sight can deceive me. If His Word says to live by faith and not by sight, and His Word says to live in Him, rethinking my plan as to where it is I want to live might be in order.
In fact, I like the idea of living in Him rather than in a magazine. Why? I like the idea of living in Him because faith offers a beautiful view long after I’ve closed the cover my magazine. Amen.
Kathleen Kjolhaug, OblSB
This article was first published in Theology in the Trenches, a column written by oblate Kathleen Kjolhaug. Posted with permission. Read more articles on her blog, Theology in the Trenches.
Photo: Three magazines published by Saint Benedict’s Monastery, taken by Amanda Hackett