When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.
--Gilbert K. Chesterson
I woke up this morning a bit out of sorts. My floors needed swept and mopped. The carpets needed vacuumed. Laundry needed done. Am I the only one who can do the work around here?
We missed Ash Wednesday services last night. We got the time wrong, and nowhere could I find the correct time. It's not the end of the world, or even a minor tragedy-- just a disappointment.
Still, I am cranky. I just put another load in the laundry and have a few, brief hours alone before family returns and clutters my solitude.
I turned to my quiet time of meditation, hoping to find solace and the feelings of Lent, whatever those may be. I read the words of my devotions then ranted, "Why is it, God, I must find you? You are God. Find me. I'm just human." I was met with a silence I don't know how to interpret.
Sometimes I find myself wondering if, like many believe, I am conjuring a God to suit my need. I can point to nothing, like science, to prove He exists. I can't do an experiment and show my hypothesis to be fact. But ultimately, my heart can't reject what has been instilled in it for so long. It may not make "sense", but it is my decision to accept mystery as truth.
Feelings, like inspiration, are dodgy and deceptive, aren't they? They come and go, fluttering just out of reach. Sometimes we grasp them, and they are dear and feel so real. But mostly they taunt us. Are our beliefs so fragile they hang on fleeting emotions?
When I am stuck in this cycle, it is best that I do. What I mean is, it is good for me to get out of my head. Move beyond my self. Do chores. Go for a walk or jog. Call someone who needs cheering up. Write a note to someone I haven't spoke to in awhile. Do. Or perhaps I need a good slap in the conscience: read an article about any place in the world where misfortune and misery are grounded in the sad facts of daily life and haunting uncertainty, not my conjured disappointments with life.
Then I come full circle, quiet my heart, and find a place of gratitude for all that I have- which is, in the perspective of the world-- abundant beyond comprehension. This doesn't take beliefs or faith or religion. It is a fact I can point to with confidence.
During this lent season, I will remember gratitude.