Born Again –
I desire to be born again, each day emerging from a blanket cocoon, different from the person I was yesterday. Each day we take steps toward who we will eventually be at the end of our lives. Some are making progress toward love, grace, kindness, and peace, others walk in another direction.
What we do today determines who we will be tomorrow. This is a truth I try to live by. What we put our minds to, invest our emotions in, allow our spirits to inhabit, shapes the person we’ll be tomorrow and in the future. We underestimate the “big” and “little” experiences we encounter each day. We dismiss character flaws, hidden hurts, negative habits, and other behaviors and attitudes that either place chains on our souls.
To emerge, new each day, takes work today. We choose where our path will go, not what our path will go through, but its destination. We can’t make our path easy or difficult but we can decide how we handle both. The decision isn’t on tomorrow’s agenda but today’s.
This morning, driving to a Father/Child reading event I was rounding a curve when out of nowhere came a big white dog, barking and headed straight for the truck. I didn’t have much time to react when at the last second it decided to turn back. My heart went into my stomach and as I looked in the rearview mirror the dog made its way back to the bush it was hiding behind to wait for its next victim. It was frightening to have this huge canine all of a sudden appear on what should have been an easy drive to a county library.
After my heart and stomach settled I thought about the dog and the fright it gave me. The fear had subsided and I wondered where its owner was, why the dog was allowed to play this dangerous game when, in a collision, the vehicle almost always wins?
I don’t like being afraid. Fear is unsettling and I’d prefer to live life without it. However, I admit that life can be a lot like the, almost, run in with the dog today. We navigate the road of life the best we know how hoping to reach our destination. When, out of nowhere, something happens which makes us afraid. It may be a brush with death, a lingering sickness, a mental health issue, a financial crisis, a danger or challenge to friends and family. In these moments we become afraid. Our goal is no longer reaching our destination but getting through each next moment. Everything slows down and our attention becomes solely on the fear.
In one sense it’s helpful our vision is singularly focused. It helps us concentrate on what’s in our way and how to avoid it or fight it. However, if we are not careful the thing which makes us afraid becomes the only thing we see and our vision to all the beauty and wonder of life is obscured. Balancing being fearful and mindful is tricky but is the only way we make sure we don’t spend our lives afraid to live.
All You Need –
Yesterday I wrote about the battle with rodents that begins every fall (There’s a Catch https://thewannabesaint.com/2016/11/05/theres-a-catch/).
Cleaning mouse traps and the areas where the little fuzz balls like to hang out is one parts determination and nine parts twisting, turning, bending and stretching. To make it easier I decided to use a few of the attachments which came with the vacuüm cleaner. The problem was I didn’t know where we kept them. I began looking in all the obvious places and then not so obvious ones but couldn’t find them. Finally, frustrated and out of ideas, I used just the hose along with a broom and dust-pan. It would’ve been easier with the attachments but I made it work without them. Once I finished the chore I was wrapping up the cord of the vacuüm to the hooks on the handle. As I did this I noticed that embedded in the handle were all the attachments I’d been looking for…forehead slap…“ugh!”
I remember a conversation I had with a friend several months ago who was starting a new chapter in her life and she asked me to give her some advice. “Breathe‘ I said, ‘Remember you already have all you need. You’re awesome and you’re going to do great.” To another friend, same message; “Don’t fret and don’t doubt. Trust the path and the path maker. It will not take you where you shouldn’t go nor leave you alone. What you carry on the journey is what you’ll need. Everything you’ve experienced before is leading you here.”
May this wisdom be remembered and guide all of us today.