Press Next Before You Start

Pointing to the touch screen in front of me, the pharmacist said “You have to press next before you start.” Really? Next is before the beginning? This is what we have come to. Not – “Live in the moment.” “Seize the day.” But rather, “ignore the moment, because it has passed and there is a line forming behind you and good God, NEXT is the only thing highlighted on the screen…What is taking you so long????”
Well…I thought I had to do something first, before I could move on. But, I don’t. We don’t. We can always live in the ‘next’ and miss the analogy that we are rushed and pressured and missing out – and frantic.
While I was waiting for the Pharmacist to come over and fill my prescription, I overheard him telling his boss that his house was in foreclosure, he was filing for bankruptcy and he was hoping to last here another two weeks before he had to move to California.
It had taken 4 hours out of a Monday for me to even get to the doctor. Waiting for his heart-wrenching paragraph to end was at least 2 minutes. A heart-rending eternity. Where should I look? Should I walk away?
I pretended not to listen. I like my pharmacist. He never judges me. He said “You have to press next before you start” as kindly as any person could. Nicer even than a person losing his home and moving out of state to survive could say something he probably had said 200,000 times. He calmly listed instructions for me which included “avoid heavy metals.” He chuckled when I asked if listening to AC/DC would compromise my recovery. He meant vitamins. I would never have been able to chuckle if it was me losing my home – and my job.
If I hadn’t overheard his confession to his boss, I would never have known that the life he knew was running away. I might have missed the poignancy of “next, preceeds first.” I’m frantic about his next. And mine. And our city’s. And, and, and…
How to change the order of the world, so that now is before next…Does anyone know?
Stop. Pray. Hide. Okay, maybe not hide.
Thanksgiving approaches. And prior to rescuing the world from an unconscious loss of time – comes the realization that: I am not losing my home, I have a large family coming over for Thanksgiving, and my life will be warm and comfortable and full of abundance. For this next moment – on Thursday – I WILL NOTICE – this.
With every ounce of control, I will try to avoid thinking of the next thing to do. “Next” will come after noticing that now has to be lived in anyway, no matter the “next.”
Really, really, hard. Yeah. That’ll never happen.
And is there anyway to save the pharmacists: home, job, security, future, and hope, without losing my now?
Karen
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Mathew 6:27

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