Perspective

I saw this pair of Canadian geese this afternoon. They were enjoying a nice “warm” soak in a small stream…

Geese by the stream
Geese by the stream

They were feeding along the banks, occasionally honking, and then feeding some more.

It was a nice idlyllic scene… except that it wasn’t. They were standing in run-off from the local Metro parking lots.

 

A stream at the Metro
A stream at the Metro

 
How often am I so focused in on my immediate surroundings that I forget to consider what might be healthy for me in the long run, and what might not be? Do I keep my focus so turned inward that I miss the big picture?

It seems to me that perspective is everything.

Stopping to care…

In a moment of insanity, I decided to make a Costco run this morning. (“Run” + Costco = a crawl… but you knew that.)

In the bottled water section, there were two women looking at all of the various packagings and having a whispered conversation. One woman was about my age, trim and neatly dressed, and had a computerized shopping list in her hand. The other woman was much older, learning on a walker. The younger woman tried to lift a case of water into her cart, and barely was able to lift it. After it dropped into the cart, she stood there, rubbing her arms. The older woman looked worried and anxious. More whispered conversations… as I waited.

Finally, in a nonhurried way, I asked if I could help them lift another case in. With a grateful smile, the younger woman said, “Oh yes, please. I shouldn’t have lifted anything that heavy. I am getting over breast cancer surgery.”

So I hoisted their case into the cart, and then asked if she was OK, because she was still rubbing her arms. “I think so,” she said, “I know now why you aren’t supposed to lift anything heavy! That really hurt! I wouldn’t have done it except I promised my child’s soccer coach I’d bring in some cases of water today.”

I told her to make sure she got someone to load up her car for her, and to unload it for her at the school. “You can bet I will,” she said with a smile. I smiled back and told her I’d pray for her today. “Prayer is what keeps me alive,” she said.

Normally I am the worst of “Type A” shoppers. I don’t quite mow people over, but I hate the sauntering, wandering shopper when I have a list and know what I need to do. Today, for some reason, I just didn’t rush it. And this little holy interruption was a real reminder that the planet I share has many needy people on it. (And yes, Captain Obvious, I spend far too much of my hours thinking about me. I’m a work in progress, to be certain!)

The rest of the meanderings around the store I thought about her. On the way home I thought about her. As I unloaded our haul, and worked on homework, I thought about her.

I don’t know her name. God does.

So, unnamed sister, you are in my prayers today…

Deb

Today I will make a difference…

Found over at Sound Bites:

Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It’s OK to stumble…I will get up. It’s OK to fail…I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference.

by Max Lucado

A random click…

I don’t even remembered how I found the blog Everyday Liturgy… But I am delighted! It’s actually a companion blog to an on-line journal.

As I start my day, slowing down before I rev up, trying to meet up with God and then tackle my daunting exegesis assignment, it was just great to ‘rest’ a while in the writings. After my recent post on Communion, I appreciated the journal edition on the Eucharist, especially Tim’s reflection as a “Post Conservative.”

Just a few quick random thoughts… click on over!
Peace…
Deb

2008 – The Year In Review

New Year’s is that season of looking back to assess and looking ahead to make goals and plans. I’m doing this for school and work and it seemed appropriate to do at least a review of my blog in 2008.

It’s a fun way to see how I blogged the year. And it is noteworthy that in 2008 I blogged the most I ever have… 291 posts!

If you’d like to play, here’s what you do… take the first sentence of the first post of the month… and see if you notice any pattern or common theme.

I’ve linked you to the post, if the sentence intrigues you.

January
Look out! The mothership has landed!

February
Well, first, you have to understand what has happened to the American brain.

March
I knew this week’s schedule would be draining.

April
I finished reading Gracism by David Anderson last evening and have been mulling it over all day.

May
I turn not because you push me but because I want to move and face the change.

June
WHEN: July 12, 2008

July
There are moments…

August
Pre-GPS days, I would play “radio roulette” and just keep punching the “search” button on my FM radio.

September
Is it possible to sprain your brain?

October
SOooo… this makes me stop and think and believe for all of the “orchard possibilities” in my life, and where God may “plant” me in the future.

November
John Ortberg in The Life You’ve Always Wanted talks about ‘hurry sickness.”

December
There’s a virtual Advent Retreat going on over at RevGalBlogPals today…

It’s been a year of growth and change — all for the good, though at the time the painful parts truly sucked…

Here’s to what GOD intends for 2009. I’m ready!

Deb

New Year’s Musings

Rev Honey from RevGalBlogPals says…

Welcome to this new day…and new year. For many, it is a time to make new or different choices about how we will live out our Christian vocation.

Perhaps you are choosing to take on a new devotional discipline, or act on some wisdom you have received from someone whom you respect.

Today, let’s share some advice that we have received or claimed for ourselves, or some new direction we are choosing for ourselves in our ministry.

I’ve been doing some pondering on this, mostly because of the nature of being a seminarian! Every semester I have to write “reflection papers” on what I am learning, thinking, discovering, doing in my spiritual walk. My profs want pages. You get bullet points, non-Turabian. Hope you don’t mind! ;^)

* I am doing a simple 5x5x5 Bible reading plan. 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week with 5 ways to go deeper on a chapter of the New Testament.
The plan allows for “catch up” days and will take me through the New Testament s-l-o-w-ly through 2009. This in itself is a nice change from my classes: “read the book of Mark and trace the themes of ________, juxtaposing them with the treatment of the same theme in John, responding to areas of personal spiritual growth needs.” (or some such topic crammed into 12 pages.)

* I am making the women pastor’s support group a priority in my life.
We met four times in 2008, we are going to go for monthly in 2009. I really love these women and can’t even imagine what it would be like to be in ministry without their “outside view” of my life and ministry! We don’t attend the same church, so there’s no crossing of supervision and personal “stuff” which is really, really healthy.

* I am continuing to remember my priorities…
Especially, I want to a) remember ALL of them (God, husband, kids, church, friends, family, LIFE) and b) keep things in perspective because things WILL get out of whack — I just need to get them back in line with “ideal” and live with that imperfection.

* I am looking to slowly read and reflect on four books in 2009.
I get very little reading done outside of my school reading, particularly this upcoming semester where the profs have promised “heavy reading requirements.” I’m keeping my promised book list short since I am given a lot of “required” reading — even for my pastor’s role; last year I read 8 or 9 books — just for my job!! Needless to say, those books, and schoolbooks, do NOT count! My first book of 2009 is a re-read… The Book of the Dun Cow. I read it years ago… it was given to me as an ordination gift and I think I need to re-read it.

If anything else happens in 2009, I will consider it a double bonus.

Peace – and a Joyous New Year!!

Deb