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I am sitting at the foot of the hospital bed of my friend who’s been suffering for the last several weeks. The room is quiet except for the loud hum of a pump which is pulling toxins from his body and the oxygen machine, both attached to him. He’s still, trying to find the sleep which eluded him last night. He received a pain shot from a nurse a few moments ago and hopefully, this affords him a quiet mind and a less painful body for a while.

He looks weak, not at all the man I’ve known for most of my life. I know him and if he could leave this place he would in a moment, hospital gown and all. In fact last night someone asked him if they could do anything for him and he quipped; “Trade places with me.” I smiled and thought; “Be careful what you ask for…” It’s these little jokes he still manages that show me he’s still fighting, still holding on, still not ready to take his final steps into eternity.

His legs twitch while he tries to nap. I wonder if they are the result of a dream? Perhaps a time when we were hiking on the Appalachian trail or playing T-Ball, maybe it was working on a construction project at his home. I hope it’s good dreams and brings him happiness, even in sleep.

Still. Still hanging on. Still suffering. Still funny. Still hoping. Still trusting the path to what’s next is not too difficult.



Leveling Out

Tuesday evening I continued working on a project Beth and I started this weekend. Where we’re working is sloped so it can be tricky making sure everything stays level. The key is never going too far, building too much, getting so involved in completing the project that you don’t take time to make sure everything is level. It’s not difficult. It simply requires placing a tool which measures the angle of whatever its set on.

Not being a handyman, I get excited when the bubble on the level tool is between the two middle lines and frustrated when it isn’t. As I worked past sundown last night I kept checking the angle, the position, to make sure my progress was straight and stable. As I pulled out of the driveway this morning I looked at our project. “Sure seems nice and even,” I said to myself.

I began to reflect about our lives. Too often we’re in a hurry to get through hectic schedules. We’re focused on reaching the goal, accomplishing a feat, getting to the finish line. Stresses, demands, fears, expectations push us to go faster, harder while giving us more and more to do.

The problem is we can become so busy that our life gets out of balance. Without stopping regularly, being still long enough to make sure we are level, positioned correctly, our bodies, minds, emotions and spirits begin to decline.

Wisdom teaches us that one of the keys to a peaceful, contented life is being sure this life “project” we’re working on is balanced, even, on the level.

@BrianLoging (Twitter)


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