We went to the local church today. It's a very small non-denominational community church and only a handful of people attend. The new pastor and his wife are both very nice. They're young and full of energy. I have a special regard for the pastor's wife, Anna, who helped get my friend and teacher Anna Dearing get to the hospital last weekend.
Teacher Anna is back in the hospital again with kidney and liver trouble made worse by a misdiagnosis. She has pneumonia. I'm really pulling for her to recover because she is one of my dearest friends. She might even be my only friend out here in the Elk Creek area outside of Marty.
The pastor, Joe, gave a very energetic talk. It's such a small congregation that he frequently calls out to one of the persons in the congregation to ask them a question or to make a comment. Today I almost expected him to leap into the aisle a la Steve Martin in "Leap of Faith" but he didn't. He stayed up on the dais and walked around up there in a most energetic way while emphasizing his points.
He made a lot of good points. I'm not a Bible thumper but I'm open minded enough to know wisdom when I hear it. I've been around the block and been exposed to a lot of different practices. I'd say, by in large, that the basic tenants of most of the main systems of religious thought are remarkably similar. So when I hear it proposed in a specific proprietary way and it seems sensible to me I listen regardless of the source.
Joe (let's just call him Joe without the pastor part. I appreciate he's a person who tries to lead by example and thinks about life in a deep way. What his affiliation is not important.) Anyway, Joe was talking about being positive today. About how to find the positive in whatever befalls you. It was a good reminder to not get mired down in thinking about something in a dogmatic way. Instead to examine it from all angles. Of course, Joe was speaking of it from a Christian point of view and he used a lot of passages from the Bible. One in particular was from Colossians which is a book that was written by the apostle Paul. Still and all it was a pretty good passage and it reminded me how there's a lot of ways to look at stuff. The thing is what it is but how you experience and react to it can be a list as long as your arm. It's your choice.
Wisdom is where you find it. If it leads to wisdom no path is better than any other.
Joe was leading up to this: what do you have to be thankful for? His idea was this: if you can take something in your life that bums you out and make it into something that you can learn from, or that supports you, or has a good use, then you can transform your life into a process that creates peace.
I'm thankful for: (the short list)
my partner who loves me even when I'm not my best
my daughter who continuously amazes me with her ability for compassion
living in a country that lets me speak my mind
the food on my plate
the air that I breathe
my fingers, toes, eyes, and ears
my sister and friends who are always there for me
this amazing planet full of beauty
people all over the world who fight against anger, hate and violence in their daily lives by their very existence or by their active involvement.
What are you thankful for?