Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lessons on the journey from a shooting star

Good Morning…..what a glorious morning it is! I woke up very early, around 1:30 a.m., because my RA has been acting up a bit and the pain makes it difficult to sleep. I tried to go back to sleep but when I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to rest, I decided to get up and begin the day. I’m so glad I did!

This week is the annual meteor shower. It always occurs right around this time every year on the anniversary of my mother’s death (August 12). I watched about a half hour of news on the TV, but after listening to the depressing stories about death, war, and suicide for a while, I decided to take my coffee outside to watch for shooting stars. WOW!  What a beautiful display of God’s glory! Dressed in my jammies and warm robe, I sat on the garden swing in the darkness and gazed to the heavens and was almost overcome with emotion as I very quickly lost count of the number of shooting stars. I saw about 20 meteors in the first ten minutes! Absolutely amazing, and it didn’t take very long for me to forget about my aching body.

As I sat there, I really couldn’t help but be grateful for all the ways God makes His presence known to me, but at the same time, I wondered how many times I go through life and don’t even notice. More times than I’d like to admit, and yet, He doesn’t stop. I’m so grateful for that!  As I gazed into the night sky watching those beams of light streak across the heavens I began to reflect on my journey and was reminded of so many lessons.

Life is very short, and just like those shooting stars that stream across the sky in the blink of an eye, we can miss opportunities to be kind; to love; to help others if we get too wrapped up in our “stuff.” While it is true that when we are trying to change our lives and improve our well-being, we need to focus on “ourselves” for a while making time to be active; eat right; spend time reflecting; reading; and/or discovering our gifts; we have to be careful not to stop living and enjoying life, “just because we are not where we want to be; we haven’t lost the weight; we are waiting until…..we get time; the kids grow up; we retire; we get thin; we get the house the way we want it to be; we……whatever” to take that trip, buy that ‘super cute dress’; learn to dance, take a class, visit that relative or friend……again, WHATEVER we want to do. 

This is an area that I really need to reflect on because it is quite possible that I may never lose these last 20 pounds because I’ve been just ‘holding my own” for about a year now and not straying off plan. It is quite possible that I may never be “less busy” because my personality and work-ethic means that when I do have some spare time I start another project (that usually doesn’t get finished….sigh) and my friends and loved ones continue to get older. I really need to write those letters; send those cards; and make some phone calls. I probably will never have a sizable savings account; it’s possible my RA and neuropathy may limit my mobility in the future; I’ll likely never have a spotless house or organized garage…..but like those shooting stars that pass so quickly across the night sky, the days pass so quickly and life is so very short. As they say, “Carpe Diem….Seize the day!”  I encourage you to do the same and be grateful and take notice of the wonders around you….even if your life and body are not where you want it to be. Enjoy the journey…..and worry less about the destination.

Another thought…..The sky was very bright tonight due to the Super Moon this week. Although quite beautiful, the brightness made it more difficult to see the meteors. I positioned myself on the swing so that I was facing the darkest part of the night sky, and yet, I was still very aware of the moonlight. There were many shooting stars, but the ones that were the most glorious and magnificent were those that were in the darkest areas of the sky. Hmm….Oftentimes, God’s presence is revealed in the mightiest way in the darkness of our life….but we have to “look up” to notice it….or it passes by. Although I could still see the shooting stars in the part of the heavens that were illuminated by the moonlight, they were faint and less glorious. Is it possible that God’s glory is even more visible when we go through struggles and darkness?  Is it possible that we have an opportunity to “shine brighter and be a light to the world” when we are going through tough times?  Certainly food for thought anyway.  So many times when life gets difficult; when we face trials and temptations; when we are sad, ill, lonely, or in despair and want to give up; we focus so much on the darkness that we forget to “look up” and we miss the ways God is present and revealing Himself to us.  I encourage you….dig a little deeper; try a little harder to be positive….and keep your chin up….and you just might see that there are still wonderful things around you …even in the darkest times of your life.

Finally….I was reminded that I have to “do something different” and “get out of my comfort zone” if I want to experience some of the wonders around me.  Had I not went outside in the middle of the night....feeling a bit ‘uneasy” about the darkness and sounds of the woods behind me….feeling the chill of the night air and the dampness of the dew on my robe I would not have been treated to the wonderful display of shooting stars. I’m a creature of habit but in order to enjoy all that life offers I sometimes have to break my routine; abandon fear and apprehension; try new things; and face the darkness.  You too, might need to try something new; take a different route; push beyond your fear; and look at life in a new way, if you want to change your life. If you don’t like the way things are in your life….make different choices.

I will likely be tired later this afternoon but I am so glad that I woke up early. In this case, God used my pain to remind me of some important life lessons, and although I don’t think He wants us to be sad or suffer, He can reveal Himself to us in those moments….IF…and only IF…..we look for it.  I encourage you to be look at life in a new way today; think about things in a new way; and make choices this day that will lead you to a new life….but more than anything….be GRATEFUL… all things.  Have a great day today!