This morning at church the reverend closed the service by asking people to come to down to the front altar and pray for a woman who was leaving with a team of people to go to Africa on a mission trip. She knelt and many of the people in attendance gathered around her. As someone began to pray I heard a sound; “Clank. Silence. Clank. Silence.” I looked up and saw an elderly woman moving towards the group using a walker. By the time she made it up to the front, they were almost finished with the prayer but that didn’t seem to matter. What mattered was she wanted to be a part of the group, show her support, be closer to the one who was leaving, because she cared and caring most often requires our presence.
As she struggled I reflected on this woman and her concern for the other overcoming her condition. The world as we know it seems to be coming apart at the seams. Institutions, foundations, and truths we thought would last forever are crumbling before our eyes. What do we do? How do we stop it or at least stem the tide? I think we should do as the woman did this morning. We recognize our weakness, our lack of power and control, but still run, walk, crawl, towards a need and be present, change what we can by getting closer. When things are too big, too unruly, too far gone, it’s easier to stay where we are, shrug our shoulders and say; “There wasn’t anything we could’ve done.” or we can get “some “skin in the game.” We can try. We can put forth the effort with an attitude that only those who show up can make a difference.
Balanced and Level –
Last night the Mrs. and I continued working on an extension to the front porch. We are extending the roof about 15 feet and then hope to screen it in. The first step was digging the holes which would hold the 4×4’s. I did this Saturday two weeks ago. The next step was to place poles in a hole and fill it with cement. Neither Beth and I had ever dealt with cement before but knew enough to make sure the poles were level before pouring the concrete in the hole. We did and then, slowly, mixed the cement and the water. We were using quick-set concrete which only takes 30 minutes to get firm so being sure the pole was level and balanced was utmost important. We spent more time adjusting the poles than permanently setting them in place.
This morning, I checked on the poles and they are nice and secure. I also reflected upon the foundations of our lives. Every person has something they anchor their lives in; religion, science, relationships, intelligence or a mix of all of these. There are many foundations we can place our lives into but the real question is; “Are we balanced and level?” A lot of ideologies, philosophies and people we use to anchor our lives can leave us uneven and unstable. The key to peace within is to make sure what we fix our lives upon doesn’t just secure us but gives stability and the evenness our spirits need.