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Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

Could I…

…if homeless, take pride in how quickly my cardboard box dries after a rain, when the sun shines again?

…if disabled, keep dancing, like doing the mental rehearsals the director had us do before each performance?

…if penniless, find something else to give another?

…if blind or deaf, still see beauty and listen?

…if shot and left for dead, forgive my assailant before I passed?

…if silenced, find ways to be heard?

…if betrayed, still trust?

…if insane, not drive those around me insane, too?

…if trapped, make peace with my condition until the way out is shown?

…if lost, creatively find and use resources?

…if starving, sufficiently distract myself until the pain subsides?

…if hopeless, fearlessly dream anyway?

…if terminally ill, embrace it with grace and courage?

God, bless those who show us how to direct our gaze upon the silver (or crimson!) linings, so we know where to focus when clouds overtake our sky.

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No, not I…the 2, about-to-be 3 year old. He graciously reminded me tonight of the importance of unwinding. Really unwinding. He reminds me that we must perpetually turn to children, the older we get, for advice on how to live. Really live. With the first child, scolding was the parenting du jour should he have attempted such a feat…with child #4…..well…I learned to take heed. You know, step back and contemplate….hmmm…well, isn’t kind of, er, funny? Go ahead, break into the chase, let him go squealing with delight, buck naked, round and round, catching him with laughter and direction to get into jammies….silly boy. I love you.

But I really wish you hadn’t have put four toothbrushes and one Mardi Gras cup in the toilet today. Luv ya anyway. Say, what happened when you tried to flush? Sorry I wasn’t there to find out with you. Bless Daddy.

Sometimes it takes a child to hold our hand and lead us precisely where we need to be. Children know freedom.

It was what our very country was founded upon.

We must constantly question and examine our beliefs, as the development of beliefs can be a fluid process throughout each life phase. A good, hard look at why we believe what we believe is good for the soul, and keeps us fresh. We become stagnant if we can no longer embrace the merits of our beliefs. Yet we cling so tightly sometimes to things that no longer make sense…

A conversation with “Common Sense:”

“He should not be allowed to run naked through the house. This is wrong.”

“And what could happen?

“Why, it’s not proper. It might make others want to run naked through the house.”

“And then what?”

“Well, then things would be out of control. They’d get the wrong message. One thing leads to another”

“What’s the wrong message?”

“That you can’t think that you can run naked through the house and it’s okay. There must be consequences.”

“And then what,? if not?”

“Ummmm… I dunno. It’s just wrong.”

“With whom? How?”

“Ummmmm..I dunno.”‘

“What harm does it do? I mean, does it serve a purpose for the runner? Do they get some benefit from it, something out of their system, sow their wild oats, then want to conform, or what? What’s going to happen if a little off-kilter happens? Doesn’t off-kilter behavior serve an ultimate purpose?”

“Well, I never thought about it.”

“Well, think about it. Is it so bad? You ever been off-kilter? What did you need to do to get right?”

‘Nuff said.

Sometimes, in all our adult wisdom, we completely miss the point of living.

When was the last time you ran naked through the house? Would the sky fall? Is it so bad?

Thanks, God, for freedom and laughter and children. It figures only the serpent could have made it so we had to wear fig leaves and toil, instead of having the childlike freedom of running naked through the house.

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Hey, God…

The water was unusually low as I went across the bridge, an almost unsightly combination of colors and elements that was not the sparkling eye candy I am accustomed to enjoying at that time of day. Receded, the water left behind a visual cacophony of unsightly sea gunk. I was slightly disappointed not to see the usual whiz-bang scenery.

Upon closer examination, I noticed the once-hidden things now evident: fresh shellfish, elusively perfect seashells, sweet seaweed that nourishes the undersea life, and greater treasures in all their glory. I had greatly underestimated, and at first glance diminished, the true bounty of the unseen.

Oh, how we can be lulled into the comfort of what we perceive to be the eye-catching ideal, when so much more lies below, more than we can comprehend! We do this with things…with situations…with people. Take heed what our eyes are drawn to, that we don’t miss what is directly underfoot because we are comparing, expecting, supposing, idealizing, judging.

May we always be aware of the great riches underneath the glitter of that which we believe to be gold.

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Flexibly Grateful

Hey, God….

So the maintenance dude shows up this morning to install the blinds I requested (but in the wrong color: “Sorry, this was all they had for this size…”) in my new office. Somehow he knew nothing about the hot tub supposedly going into the  adjoining mystery closet that nobody’s opened in months, perhaps because no one’s really sure if it’s legend or fact that there is a sink with possibly-functioning-plumbing buried under the years of forgotten items behind that creepy door, and because he was accustomed to my sense of humor. I very much look forward to opening that door when I am in a peak purging mode, and exploring the possibilities. Evidently a hot tub was not one of the possibilities envisioned by my superiors. Eh, well…I am grateful for the pleasantly bright office with the restful view, much less and not to mention having a job. I especially thank you for that, God.

(Oh, my dear friend in the beach chair next to me…I have not told you what I do! I work and play with Very Upset Children. Some of them are angry. Some of them are haunted. All of them are precious. I have worked to mend broken souls for many years.)

God, I pray for the children I am leaving behind, for each of them to grow and succeed with my replacement, and I pray for the new ones You’ve entrusted to me. Thank You that I will be close, that I can still watch my former charges evolve daily as I tackle these new challenges. Give me wisdom and humility, as You have always taught me the biggest of lessons through the littlest of people. I also pray for the team in the trenches with these children day and night: give them strength, courage and insight as they help transform these betrayed souls into what society expects.

Thank you for making me move my beach chair to another spot; I was enjoying getting my feet wet with the rising tide in this spot – the water was warm and lulling – but I suppose it’s time to gather up my energy and submit to yet another dance with flexibility, lest my limbs fall asleep, getting relaxed and comfy where I was.

In the meantime, I will prepare for this change with the interlude of an absence. I hate leaving this seashore for any time, but again, change is good. I will look forward to being rocked to sleep by the rhythm of the rails once again, for the rails are deep in my blood. Nonetheless, I do not like being carried away from here, but isn’t perspective only gained once one stands back for a time? But how will I ever hear You above the din of the rails and then of the city? How I will long for the peaceful, familiar sounds of the sea!

But away I must go, with mixed regret and anticipation, and I will look forward to plopping back down in my chair here on the beach with You soon. Save me a seat, God, and please move my chair if the tide gets too high again while I’m gone. Just flag me down and show me where You put it when I come back, so I know where to go. And I will return refreshed and flexibly grateful for blinds of any color, and I will set about to conquer the legend of the buried sink. And we’ll mend some more souls together, You and me.

 

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Hey, God….

So what’s up with dreams? Do You control the programming on those channels, or when You designed our brains, You just sort of set things in motion and let ’em spin? What a mystery.

Moments ago I was in some surreal world…a freeflowing puppet starring in some other-planetary production in which I was among the cast of characters. I evidently knew all my lines, but it wasn’t me knowing them. I was both audience and thespian, simultaneously. What marvelous capacities You designed us with…and with such limitations, all the necessary harnesses built in. I awake and cannot grasp the fading dreamscape; it haunts and teases me, making sure I remember it’s there somewhere within my being, yet I cannot access it at will. You remind me that You have made us with things even we cannot comprehend and control. That in the end, it really does boil down to You and Your will. So why do we fight that most of our lives, even when we think we’re being or acting close to You, and why do we not just succumb to Your will sooner? How can we ever think we can know all things, when there are things we cannot know (and deep down, we know that we cannot know)?

Why isn’t it easier to choose Your will?

Stubborn, foolish little creatures we are!

So here I sit with You and my coffee on the beach chair, watching the sun rise, hoping the humidity isn’t frying the laptop. What a glorious day You have made. Awesome birds chirping and singing, Lord. Do birds have dreams, too? I love the mix of cicadas and crickets, too. The crickets, wrapping up their nighttime symphony and fading into to rising light of day…the regular cicadas, slowly warming up their chorus and reaching a feverish crescendo up in the trees, and then their relatives, the other group which prides itself on rhythm, the steady bzz-bzz-bzz-bzz-bzz that lends itself to comfortable predictability and reminding me what part of the planet I currently occupy.

And the rest of this part of the planet is sitting in church just about now, and derelict me sitting here (as I cannot hear You as well when I’m surrounded by man-made noise), enjoying You all to myself (and all You have made). Thank You for the serenity of this morning. Thank You for answering some of my questions, and allowing me to wonder about others. For if there was no wonder, to whom would we turn? Some questions demand to remain unanswered and unknown, for they are usually spoiled in one way or another when we try to ascribe our version of an answer to them.

I do not know why I am drawn to the seashore, but You have provided the elements with which I can joyfully dig in the sand, get my hands all goopy and messy, and fill that pail with my little shovel. I don’t understand why this is the sequence of things,but it is right and good, and one’s soul knows it. I might get biffed by a wave as the tide rises, but this just adds to the elements going into my pail and makes it a better sand castle when I dump the whole thing upside down. I am only vaguely aware of the fresh scent of the sea breeze giving life to my endeavors in the pail, but it fuels me along with the happy sun, and all is well.

It is then good, I conclude, to remain as a child: perceiving the world as a dreamscape (with dreams as real and true as waking moments), taking innocent comfort in blurred realities, doing what a child is supposed to do without adopting unnecessary worries…and ever remaining filled with wonder.

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15 Ways to a Half-Full Day

Hey, God…

Thanks for a great day. There was so much good about it, yet it was “just” another day! And, too, there was so much that I could have chosen to perceive as negative, inconvenient, frustrating, terrifying and even a little bad news thrown in. There was physical blood, emotional gore, and plenty of general unrest.

So how do we get to the end of the day and decide it’s been a good day? Do You do that, or do we? How was the glass not half-empty, what with all those “bads” swirling about all day?

Hmmm…let’s see… there was:

Faith: Trusting in One bigger than ourselves to handle the details, and the big picture;

Busyness: Having enough obligations, which keeps us from having enough idle time to dwell on the negatives;

Wisdom: Knowing that time solves most problems;

Love: Recognizing that there are other people needier than we, and acting on it by putting them first;

Trust: Believing that negatives will eventually turn out to be positives, even if today we can’t see how;

Laughter: Finding the humor in there somewhere, if only just to laugh;

Gratitude: Thanking others;

Responsibility: Understanding that we have purpose which others rely upon, whether we realize it or not;

Selective Focus: Choosing to attend to those things that strengthen or were meaningful in positive ways, and choosing to turn away from negativity;

Care: Making ourselves rest, eat, exercise properly so that we can properly care for others;

Hope: Keeping one eye to the future, since we know that circumstances always eventually change, and valleys yield to peaks;

Flexibility: The willingness to bend, cheerfully, with the winds of change;

Honesty: Having the courage to speak truth, for the purpose of integrity;

Respect: For both self and others, which often involves self-control, empathy and submission; and

Joy: Knowing that goodness abounds in all places and people, if we just look.

Thanks again, and also for bringing me safely back to the beach chair so we can take inventory like this. Like the memory of a peaceful vacation, may we remember these every day!

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