Things can seem to be spinning out of control these days
From the news cycle to the general frenetic pace of life
(and from meeting upon meeting in my own life)
To the growing inequality, systemic racism, uncivil discourse and general status quo which seems to inch farther away from the benefit of ordinary folks, especially those on the margins who Jesus loved so much.
How do we/I stay centered in the midst of it all?
To do lists, crisis management and holding the powers that be (and each other) accountable, to be sure.
But also kindness?
And looking with eyes of hope for signs of joy?
And slowing down
Yes, slowing down.
Slowing down to keep up.
I awoke this morning to brilliant orange sunlight breaking through the opening in my curtains right into my eyes.
Good morning sun, I thought. I know there is a book titled Good Night Moon … is there a morning equivalent?
Each and every day, to varying degrees depending on the weather and other sciency factors, the sun rises for everyone, everywhere.
Think about that. This same sun woke your ancestors. This same sun has shed light on good and bad alike since time began. This same sun shines on us and reminds us, to paraphrase L.L. Montgomery’s Anne Shirley, that this very day is a new fresh day without any mistakes.
We tend to focus too much on the mistakes, but the sun invites us just to shine, at least for a moment, before the clouds cast shadows and diffuse the light.
I am praying these days with a little book of meditations on the sayings of John XXIII. I happened upon this saying this morning, entirely appropriate for this train of thought (and heart).
“See everything, overlook a great deal, correct a little.”
The sun, like our loving God, sees it all. We see where the light shines and presume much in the shadows, at least I do. But today my prayer is that I focus on the good, give people the benefit of the doubt, and help shine the light where I can.
Given that the main focus of my life (studying & writing) involves sedentary tasks, I have made myself a promise to get moving everyday. Sometimes this involves going to the gym where I move on the elliptical machine with music in my ears (of my own choosing, not the gym music mix!). Other times like today this means a brisk walk in the neighborhood.
I have chosen the neighborhood walk most non rainy days this fall, because of the colors!
This is my third autumn in Chicago, and while I will be lamenting the bare branches and lack of anything green soon enough, the fall colors are lovely! They also serve as added motivation for me to get outside and get moving.