Tuesday, August 31, 2010

an abrupt transition

this past saturday afternoon it was 32˚C .. almost 90˚F.  nice, typical summer weather. warm, but not overwhelmingly so. then .. sunday morning i wake up and it is raining. the warmest it gets all day is around 21˚C .. 70˚F.  that is a big drop in temperature! and since then, it has continued to rain and be cooler. which is nice autumn weather. but it is so sudden!

change is a natural part of life. it happens to everybody. in all sorts of ways. internally and externally. but, it is nice when we can get accustomed to the idea of change, when we can prepare ourselves a bit. this change just happened faster than i was expecting. and made all the other changes going on just a little bit more challenging to deal with. ah well .. i am grateful that we are going to have a real autumn!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

an expression

while i was out walking this evening, i passed a man walking with his wife. when we passed, he looked at me, and the word that immediately came to mind was 'sneer'. not that his expression was horrible .. but it wasn't all that polite, either. two thoughts in rapid succession came to mind..
1. was that expression meant for me?!
2. did his face get stuck like that?

(necessary explanation for thought number 2 .. there is a 'calvin and hobbes' comic strip where calvin makes a horrible face. and an adult says 'be careful. it could get stuck like that.' calvin, of course, spends the rest of the panels with the same face, hoping it will become permanent. in the last panel, he is gravely disappointed .. it didn't get stuck!)

strange, i know. but it made my day better. and .. instead of being offended, why not find something humorous?!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

choosing to be grateful

"I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need." -- Philippians 4.12-13

"Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." -- 1 Thessalonians 5.16-18

these two passages have come to mind a number of times recently. from what i have seen in my own life, faith and belief often have to be worked out and practiced in decisions that seem inconsequential. small, daily choices do matter. at the moment, one of the choices i have daily (hourly or more often!) is to complain or to be thankful about the heat. yesterday it almost reached 100*F in the shade. it has been in the 90s most of the week and looks like it will continue to stay there. this is true in many parts of the world .. summer brings heat! (and in some places this is just life as usual .. which makes me really glad for the other three seasons.)

someone made a comment to me a while back that we humans are so good at finding things to complain about! when it is summer, we complain about the heat. when it is winter, we complain about the cold. there is always something. (i have spent time with people who excel at finding things to complain about, and sometimes am amazed at how creative they can be!) but in the same way, if we simply choose to look at things from a different perspective, there are always reasons to be thankful. i believe this is a spiritual discipline. especially in today's world, when there are always ads telling us that we need their product to be happy, or the newest version of whatever the hot technology is.  choosing to be thankful for what we have, for who we are with, for things we cannot change doesn't just happen, we have to practice!

in the heat of the day, i am choosing to be thankful for accessible and clean water. for a fan from a friend. for the cool breezes and temperatures that come each night (even if they aren't really cool, they are much better than noon!). for the wise One who created seasons. for fresh produce that needs the sun and warmth to because so flavorful. for ice cubes in my glass of cold tea. for friends to share an ice cream with. for shade. for green trees. see? once you start being thankful, it's hard to stop sometimes!