I look to thee in every need, And never look in vain;
I feel thy touch, Eternal Love, And all is well again;
The thought of Thee is mightier far
Than sin and pain and sorrow are. – S. Longfellow
August 14 is branded somewhere inside my skull as the start of football two-a-days. Now schools start before Labor day, football practice begins before it ends it seems, and yet August 14 still is a day that lives in my short life’s infamy.
Looking back on it, it was never as bad as we dreaded, and it was over before it seemed to start. We endured the pain, the exhaustion, and somehow replenished the gallons of sweat we lost . It was just part of our life for a short period of time and there were as many laughs, good times, and victories as there were defeats and agony.
The same goes for any period or phase in our life. The challenge to us all is to find sweetness and joy amid the vexatious, irritating, worries, and frets that lie along the way and we cannot evade. Whatever kind of life we live, must be lived amid the experiences in which we are now moving. It is in the present we win our victories and suffer our defeats. No dread, no foreboding, no restlessness turns back the clock or changes our lot. Accept what we cannot alter, and live a beautiful life in the midst of the present.
To some extent that is why we pause every day to meditate, think about whatever we have just read, and talk to God. J.R. Miller said it as well as anyone, “Strive to realize a state of inward happiness, independent of circumstances.”
I’m catching up with some of your blog entries that have accumulated during our various times away this summer… and this one really struck a wonderful note for me! If only we could live in the moment and let the past go. In his book, “Wherever you go, There you are,” Jon Kabat-Zinn defines “mindfulness” as “…paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally….If we are not fully present … we may not only miss what is most valuable in our lives but also fail to realize the richness and the depth of our possibilities for growth and transformation.”