I am a creature of habit. I like to have things under control. I like it when things are predictable and planned. Once I had a surprise birthday party while I was in graduate school. Initially, I had unexpressed anger in my heart, I was mad because I had other plans for my time. But it wasn't too bad. I survived at least.
As a result, I've noticed that I give myself to routine. Regular rhythms have an earthly regularity to them like the sunrise and the passing of seasons. But the routines I create for myself, or those to which I give myself can become empty. Shallow. I hate that! Granted, emergencies have had a knack of kicking me into another gear and the Spirit of God tells me to fall in line.
Today, my alarm didn't go off. I over slept and felt behind. I made some alterations and shortened my time of prayer and meditation. Getting back on track, I discovered that a crucial life event scheduled for December had been moved to October. Okay, I can handle that, I've prayed, I've walked the dog, I've exercised. I can handle this. Breathe. Sacred pause. Take the next step.
Then as I am relaxing for a moment after studying and writing a paper for my class, I decide to hang out on social media only discover ominous comments of suicidal ideation from a friend. This friend lives far away. Fortunately, there is a close group of friends surrounding him in love and care. Breathe. Sacred pause. Take the next step.
After taking the dog for another walk, for me as much as it was for her, I find a text on my phone from a dear friend. Calling him, I learn of his unexpected cancer diagnosis. Enough said. Breathe. Sacred pause. Take the next step.
Granted the most difficult events of the day were in the lives of others. Yet, at the same time, these were things over which I have no control at all of any kind.
So I looked again at the photo of today's garden harvest. I was reminded of God's good and simple gifts. Rich, colorful, and necessary foods arising from the ground. Made of nothing but dirt, water, and sun. It is then that I come to terms with God for the day. Frequently, God and I have to come to terms. God's trump card in these conversations is grace. Breathe. Sacred pause. Take the next step.
God's sufficient grace carries me and my friends through each day.
A heart of gratitude. And the more I realize how grateful I am for the unknown friends surrounding my brokenhearted friend far away, and for the caregivers aggressively chasing down the cancer in my friend - and how excessive God's genius is with dirt, water and sun - I also realize that I'm good. I'm good.
I'm not good in some sense of moral perfection, heavens no! But I realize my friends, my garden, and I are in the hands of a good Spirit. A Spirit of plenty and abundance, nor scarcity or inadequacy. A Spirit of good, even when by so many external signs things look bad.
So as I thought about this, I queued up my favorite song for now. "I'm Good" by The Mowgli's. It's my go-to song when I need to remember how good life is, God is, and those I care for are. Check it out...
Tomorrow I will go into the garden. The dirt, sun, water and God will likely give me another several pounds of life-giving food. And I'll remember that through the grace of God, I'm good. Tomorrow could be my day for despair, for illness, for a potential misfortune. But God's good grace will be there. Awaiting. Because of God's grace, I'm good enough. Breathe. Sacred pause. Take the next step.