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Archive for June, 2007

Gratitude

GRATITUDE 

            An attitude of gratitude is not just a platitude.  It’s amazing the feeling you get when you are truly reminded of the simple things you have to be grateful for, things like life, health, strength.  Not lofty goals of grander, not riches or bliss, but truly the simple and essential.  It can be truly earth shattering to be forced to a point of acknowledgment of these essentials.  It is often said we don’t know what we have until we loose it.  Just earlier today I was moved to within inches of such a point.

            I was moved to this place on a drive back from Myrtle Beach SC, to Charleston.  Today I worked in Myrtle Beach a little later than expected and found myself driving home in slight traffic.  As I was nearing the clear or the end of the traffic the speed picked up on HWY 17 back to highway speed.  The road cleared in front of me and I had not a worry or a care other than getting home.  It was a long day at work and I was growing tired, tired of the day, tired of work, and tired of driving.  I was swiftly loosing sight of the little things I had to be grateful for.

            This was all changed in the instance a silver dodge ram pickup truck with an extended cab darted from my extreme right to my extreme left across three lanes of traffic, cutting me off.  At this point continuing on the same course and speed we would meet a sure collision and possibly sudden death for many of us.  Us being myself my coworker in the passenger seat who had forgotten his seatbelt, and the four people in the pickup truck.  At this course we would have nearly “T-Boned” the Truck.  There was a large Tractor Trailer approaching from behind on the right of us, which left me no choice but to swerve left through a narrow median and towards the oncoming traffic on the other side of the highway.

            It was but for the Grace of God that I was able to make a sharp turn to the right and land in the ditch created by the median so as to not end up in oncoming traffic.  The pickup truck stopped as soon as he saw me swerve out of our collision path.  Once my vehicle stopped in the ditch the drive of the truck ran towards me apologizing and screaming that he didn’t see us and was sorry.  I ended up being able to drive away from this experience having suffered no harm to me, my passenger, or my vehicle. 

            The rest of the trip home was one of quiet contemplation.  I reflected on just how swiftly life can escape us.  Six lives were almost ended in the blink of an eye, yet all were spared.  In light of such events everything else seems to take on immensely less important.  Life is not promised to us and in such we should be grateful for every fleeting minute.  Especially those we can spend with the ones we love.  Thank you and God’s Peace.

 Auxilio ab alto By help from on high Br. Maurice D. Ravennah 

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WANT and LACK

WANT and LACK 

            We spend a lot of time concentrating on both those things we want and those things we lack for the two are not necessarily interchangeable in all cases.  Often our wants don’t reflect our lacks and our lacks may even have little to do with our wants.  With the delicate position we find our selves in from day to day life knowing not the future we often make base choices that aren’t in our own best interest.  I say this to make a point yet not at the expense of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, as want is a legitimate and meaningful feeling.  I recently heard a Japanese proverb on the matter that touched me.

 

“For want of a nail, the horse shoe was lost. 

For want of a horse shoe the stead was lost. 

For want of a stead the message was lost. 

For want of the message the war was lost.” 

 

Its amazing how simply the proverb depicts the demise of a nation at war spawning from the downward spiral of want and indeed need of something so relatively small, simple, and attainable.  This proverb speaks with a broad yet specific voice if you will.  In indulging me in this little oxymoron one will find that the proverb speaks quite specifically about want and loss but in a broad sense speaks about causality and the necessity for attention to detail.  In hearing the words and taking them at face value one could say that the lost message lost the war, but I think the more specific message was that the lost nail was in fact what lost the war.  Sometimes the simplest details are the ones that can lead to our downfall, and unfortunately sometimes these simple things we lack are not the things we want.  In such they often go overlooked and neglected until the snowball in to a larger lack, loss, or problem.

 

            We should own our wants and acknowledge them for what they truly are.  More often then not we will find that they are not in true alignment with our lacks and in such are not truly things that we need.  We should pay special attention to what we do have and in being the good steward we were all called to be we should take special care never to neglect it.  The neglect of the horse in our little story seemed simple and insignificant at the onset but eventually changed the fate of a nation.  Finally we should strive to align the two, being our wants and our lacks, when we pay attention to those thing we lack and need and give them priority over those things we simply want, all he wile being thankful for those things we already have, we place ourselves on the road to completion.  We put ourselves one step closer to a fulfilled goal, not just the attainment of a want, but the attainment of a need that will sustain us to and through the attainment of our later wants.  Thank you all, and God’s Peace!

 Auxilio ab alto By help from on high Br. Maurice D. Ravennah 

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WC=PC

            As you may well remember, the popular novel The Diary of Anne Frank made note of the wide use of the abbreviation WC for water closet or bathroom.  For our own purposes we will be using the similar abbreviation PC for prayer closet.  With this having been said I’m sure it’s far more than evident where I’m going with this.  We live in a world of here and now and are plagued with the idea of the scarcity of our time.  In the hustle and bustle of day to day life it can often become easy to loose track of our ongoing conversation with God as well as our ongoing dialogue with ourselves.

Between work and or school, volunteering, and taking care of our many miscellaneous obligations we often tell both God and our inner selves, “Caller please hold the line.”  This is not to say that we deliberately slow or stop our conversation, but we often inadvertently either put the conversation on borrowed time, or put it on hold all together.  Its so very easy to tell ourselves, well, I’ll pray tonight after work, or I’m to tired now that work is over so I’ll pray tomorrow in church.  When we do this we create a false reality within ourselves asserting prayer as an obligation and daunting task, when it is and should be quite the opposite.  Prayer is a refuge, the peace within the midst of the storm, bridge over troubled waters, and our link to one another and to our God. 

            Having said all of this I would like to revisit the idea of the equation we started with, WC=PC in which we find the water closet can be our prayer closet.  Prayer is not just the rote and from ideal that society has generally fed us.  Every breath can be a prayer when your intention is to be one with yourself, your God, and your universe.  In as much what better time to pray than during a hot peaceful bath or shower, when you can visualize the negativity and burdens of daily life be washed away.  If we have time for even such a simple activity as a bath or shower, we have time to pray.  It’s amazing the inspirations and comforts that can come in a meditative or prayerful bath or shower.  Keep this in mind in the coming days when there’s more on your plate than you think you have time to swallow.  Thank you for visiting this idea with me.

 God’s Peace,Auxilio ab alto By help from on high. Br. Maurice D. Ravennah 

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