Ready or Not –
Tuesday afternoon I pulled into the driveway and immediately realized what I had forgotten. There was a bug control company’s truck sitting there with a bug person spraying the outside of the house. My first thought was not the way the house looked on the outside but on the inside. The bathroom remodel was completed a week and a half ago but we are still trying to get things back in their proper place. As a result, the house is quite messy. It was too late to cancel and as soon as I headed into the house the bug person followed so there was no time to straighten up anything! “Oh well,’ I thought, ‘I’m sure they’ve seen worse.” I took the dog outside as they sprayed the inside and finished up. “Thanks and see you next time,” they said, got in their truck and pulled away.
It was an uncomfortable but important reminder of life’s unpredictability. Even when our plans seem permanent, perfectly laid out, organized, and ready for anything life has a way of showing us how little control we have over everything. Life’s full of surprises, some good and some not so good, some which we can get over quickly, others that pull us in a direction we don’t want to go to places we’d rather not be altering it permanently.
Life, like the bug person on Tuesday afternoon; ready or not, here it comes.
Go Home –
Today was a beautiful day for a walk/run outside. 80+ degrees, sun, blue skies, low humidity.
Anytime you walk or run, especially in the country, you keep an eye out for dogs. They love to come running up to you, barking, menacing, and you aren’t sure of their intentions. It is in these times I am thankful for a booming loud voice or a big mouth! I turn towards them, clap my hands together and say boisterously; “NO! GO HOME!” Most of the time this is enough to make a dog stop in their tracks and become confused. Almost all stop barking, charging and some even turn around.
In my father’s class in the county jail today we were talking about relationships, especially when it comes to communication. Most of the guys agreed with each other that it was almost always the woman’s fault. She would start; “Nagging! Not letting me have any peace, so I would just leave.” As we continued talking, however, I wanted them to see they were also at fault and leaving every time a conversation could turn into an argument didn’t solve anything. “Sooner or later you have to go home and have the hard conversations. The problems won’t disappear just because you don’t talk about them.”
Communication; the greatest asset or worst weakness we have when it comes to loving and living with each other.
Our Siberian Husky, Trooper, has a problem with our little farm-house. The kitchen floor is covered in old, slick linoleum and many other rooms have wooden floors. For most of his life, he’s lived in houses which were wall to wall carpet and gave him places to grip as he walks. Now, he’s finding it hard to keep his footing as he walks in our home. We’ve several large carpets in the wooden floor rooms and small carpets along with one of his beds in the kitchen. He slips and slides from one carpet to another and refuses to walk in a space where there’s no carpet in sight for him to reach. We’ve tried several different ways to help him get over his fear of the slick floors but fear has a way of getting inside of people and animals alike.
I have friends and family members today, as all of us do, who are finding it hard to get a grip on new, difficult and challenging situations. I also have friends and family members who are dealing with old hangups, habits, hurts and wonder if they will ever be able to grapple with and overcome these persistent, negative areas.
What can we do when those we love and care about are gripped by fear? We can lay down rugs, pieces of carpets, by doing random and purposeful acts of kindness and grace. We cannot take their fear away but we can show them our love is greater than what has them afraid.
Be Still –
On her way out the door to go to work this morning my wife gave me the following orders; “Don’t go outside. Don’t mess around the house. Stay on the couch or in the bed. Got it? Good!” Men don’t like listening to nor following orders but the kiss I received afterwards softened the irritation. My wife is smart. She knows I have a hard time sitting still. I need to move, do something, be working on a project. However, the Oral Surgeon wants me to take it easy for a few days following my surgery on Wednesday. So, I’ve been a good husband today and did, or rather didn’t do, what my wife told me not to do.
When forced to be still for whatever reason we begin to think. We reminisce about the past, hope for the future, try to ease our apprehension of the present. Forced stillness takes us on a journey inward and we wonder about roads not traveled and wander along bi-ways of what might have been.
Serenity also allows us, if we dare, to take a focused look at our lives. We examine it, hold it up to the light, turn it over and see if what we’re doing, the events and experiences which make up our existence, are meeting our purpose, fulfilling the reason for our being on this planet, at this time in this space.
Distractions are one of the greatest enemies of wisdom, truth. Being still, examined, measured, isn’t easy but its better than realizing, only when the stillness of death comes, that we missed our reason for being.
Keep your eyes clean and your ears quiet and your mind serene. Breathe God’s air. Work, if you can, under His sky.