Monday September 01, 2014




What to do with a ruffled spirit

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Numerous ill winds unsettle my spirit as I write this week. Some breezes blow stronger than others. Since I can’t concentrate on a single worthy thing, may I talk about those? Perhaps your interior weather looks the same today.  

My ninety-year-old dad is in the hospital recovering from a life-threatening infection. He’s getting good care, but two provinces over is too far for a hug and a hand-hold.

My ten-year-old vehicle may have reached the downhill slope of obsolescence. “You have some sort of yellow stuff around your front passenger tire,” my co-worker reported this morning, after walking past it in the parking lot. Last month, the car spilled pink stuff and needed a costly fix. I’m praying the yellow came from a passing pooch.

My six-year-old laptop, running Windows XP, needs either an expensive update or a replacement. I don’t like the idea of updating. The entire machine could crash next week. But in my personal scale of detestable tasks, computer shopping ranks right up there with the purchase of new shoes, new glasses and new bras.

My barely three-year-old grandbean, visiting on a sleepover last night, stood up, put on her coat and boots, slipped out the back door and made for home. No asking. No telling. Her trail of small footprints in fresh snow shows that she stayed on the side of the road, like a good girl. She arrived at home safely. The “what ifs” and ‘should’a, would’a, could’a’s make my liver quiver.

Yesterday I spilled words I shouldn’t have, in a less than loving manner. Even though I spoke the truth, I should have waited for the right time and spirit to share my thoughts. Some days I can’t stand me.

Today someone I’ve been involved with trying to assist (for many months now) burned every carefully constructed bridge with all the people and organizations who have also tried to help. Severing one’s own rescue line bodes poorly for recovery attempts. All that remains to do is weep.

Tomorrow? Who knows what that holds? As I child I fretted to sleeplessness over Russia and the Cold War. I don’t like the déjà-vu splashing across news headlines, but this time I’m concerned for the entire world.

On top of that, our toaster is toast.

When life’s gusts come from all directions at once, what do you do?  

As a practicing Christian (practice doesn’t make perfect, understand) here’s what I remind myself on days like this: Stop complaining about what can be fixed and work at fixing it. Stop worrying about what can’t be fixed and put it on God’s desk. And pray for understanding as to which is which. American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr said that best:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

If your day has blustery leanings too, lean into that prayer with me. And keep your hands on your hat.


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