This morning my family gathered together to write my father’s obituary and order of service for his memorial. After a while, we took a break and I walked outside with my niece and spotted a huge Sycamore leaf. It was the biggest one at first we could see and then it became a competition on who could find the largest one of all. We searched a long time and when we were convinced we had discovered the most sizeable one we began looking for the smallest one. This was harder because we had to look under, beside and move other leaves to find the smallest. Finally, we believed we had the tiniest Sycamore leaf in the yard.
It was another busy day with people visiting, numerous phone calls, memorial service being organized, visiting the florist, and other errands. In the hustle and bustle of things, a family must do when one they love has passed it’s hard to find the peace one desires. The big things, the things which must get done are easy to find, it’s the small things; the glimpses of hope, the good memories, times when the good of a life well-lived shines in the darkness of a loved one parting.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Saint John, chapter 1
When I woke up this morning my positive thought was; “It’s not Thursday!” Yesterday I had to go to the dentist and while there are times we must do things which bring us anxiety we can celebrate I am thankful I didn’t have to repeat the process today.
It’s also a beautiful day. Sunny with a few clouds. Temperatures in the low to mid-80’s. In a few moments, I will go and mow the grass. Some weeks, especially during the hot summer days, it’s more a chore than a joy but as the days grow shorter I will bask in the sun on my face and driving my little yard tractor.
One thought or several, can indeed change the way you see your day. I know in the future I’ll have to go to the dentist again. Soon there will be no need to cut the grass. By the look of the trees and their colors, the days will quickly be cold enough that even the sun won’t be able to warm me up.
One of the most positive thoughts, disciplines, we can have is focusing on the good each day brings and not the uncomfortable change which may come with tomorrow.
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
Gospel of Saint Matthew 6:34, The Master
Not a Great Fit –
As a wannabe Saint and woodworker, I’m not sure which one requires more patience and effort. While working on an outdoor project today I had a piece of wood which needed to fit in a certain place, a certain way. I measured, marked the wood for cutting and then proceeded. The first cut was too long. I measured again, cut again and again too long. Repeating the process two or three more times I was finally able to fit into the certain place but not the certain way. I was getting frustrated and Beth noticed. “How about this?” she said. “Let’s go has some lunch and you can think about what you can do differently to get a different result.” Such a wise woman for this foolish man. By the time lunch was finished and a few other chores taken care of, I did come up with an idea on how to fix my board problem.
Stepping away, taking a breath, pausing, letting go for a moment and allowing space between the frustration and a reaction is a difficult discipline to develop. However, if ever mastered; chores, projects, even relationships and growing in wisdom, contentment might no longer be a source of contention but a more attainable path.