“Whatever may be the tensions and the stresses of a particular day, there is always lurking close at hand the trailing beauty of forgotten joy or unremembered peace.”
Good morning, friends! I hope your team won last night. I don’t support football for moral reasons so we watched a movie with the kids. I say we won, but it’s open to debate. Let’s get to the real business of the day.
Less I forget, let me first commend the works of Howard Thurman, our quote-ster for the day. He was a brilliant man with a beautiful heart. I recommend anything he wrote. Now to the point. This past Friday evening I was again participating in a ministry for homeless men in my community, feeding them a hot winter meal. When we (the team) arrived at the facility we were met with a challenge. Apparently bed bugs had been discovered the night before; we were cautioned to use every possible precaution. When the homeless men arrived the check in procedure was greatly revamped for the challenge and as soon as that was completed the men were informed that typical comforts would be forgone for the evening, leaving them with only a bed mat and a fresh blanket. Lacking a pillow was big problem and I’m not unsympathetic, but the griping was surprising. It lasted a few minutes when one voice from among them spoke up and encouraged peace. It worked! And for a moment I was ashamed of myself.
We all have out tensions and stresses every day, multiple times per day. We don’t (hopefully) have bed bugs or a lack of a pillow for a night but we have our issues. I remember the last time I slept without a pillow. I was a chaperone for an overnight camp. Facing my challenge, I folded up my jeans and used them to elevate my head. It was a hard night’s sleep, I assure you. But that was 20+ years ago. I suppose the quality of our problems reflects the status of our lives, but whatever they are we all have them.
* The unsympathetic boss
* The selfish co-worker
* The arrogant customer
* The forgetful child
* The overwhelming work
* The lack of resources
* A health problem
Does the list ever end? Perhaps the reflects the size of the problem. We are so aware of the things, large and small, that can create challenges for us. But are we equally aware of the joys and peace that balance out, if not in fact outweigh, any negativities of life? In other words, we can choose to live in the dark clouds of life or keep our focus on the silver linings. It’s our choice. As for me, I’ll remember that homeless man, facing a night with no pillow, who loudly and lovingly said, “Put the shoes you have on underneath the mat to raise it up like a pillow.” Let that be your silver lining today. And have a wonderful, wonderful week.
2 Corinthians 11:16-33