Finding Courage and Wisdom on the Path to Wholeness
Good Morning, TSJ “Peeps” ~
When I have toast in the morning I butter it well. When I go to a restaurant and order toast I ask them to butter it freely from edge to edge (rather than that token dab in the middle). Honestly, can there be any other reason to eat toast? You guessed it, I desire more. I like the trimmings. Butter especially, but close on its heels follow peanut butter, jam and melted cheese. But dry toast? Not my usual preference.
Right now though I have been reminded of a greater truth. Toast is good as a stand alone. It is even desirable for sick tummies as well as people who are disciplined about not consuming too much unnecessary fat in their diet. Mr. John is valiantly trying to recuperate from the flu and the only thing he can handle right now is dry toast.
Solomon says it is a good time to remember some simple but important truths. And those truths revolve around love, commitment, and sacrifice. Ironically, it is both Valentine’s Day here in the US and it is Ash Wednesday for Christians, a reflective time of Lent that points to the ultimate love sacrifice of Christ.
It really has made me think. Valentines and ashes. Both are symbols and expressions of love. One is highly commercialized and shared with others. The other is highly ignored and sacred, – and here I am speaking of those of us who believe in the mission of Christ. It is only an example I am using to emphasize how susceptible we are to cultural gods and how easy it is to get caught up with exciting things that don’t satisfy for long vs. simple and basic things that fulfill us.
So what does that have to do with dry toast?
Well it is a simplistic illustration but Solomon (our silent wizard of wisdom) says simple is best. So, with that smug-like grin of his – I felt his reminder that simple is not necessarily easy but both simple toast and simple truth are ultimately more easily digested once ingested. And I heard Solomon mutter, “And the fact that dry toast is the only thing Mr. John can eat right now means it is good for you.”
You now have the picture. And Solomon is taking advantage of my current state of vulnerability and concern for John to remind me that wisdom wants us to take our life experiences as they come and be open to spiritual lessons and simple reminders that can be gleaned from life experience – especially the unwanted ones.
Most of us at TSJ already are open to listening to the still small voice of wisdom. But even with our best of intentions it seems Big Things of Importance all too easily get hijacked of their proper place by the numerous other things that capture our desires and demand our attention. It seems we constantly find ourselves anxious and unsatisfied in our never ending pursuit of significance, security, pleasure and confidence.
Solomon knows you and I can read this and nod in agreement, but we still tend to give more head nods than heart nods to this truth. On Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday it is time for heart nods.
As you readers know, we all get our share of unwanted life events. And one of those in our lives in TSJ community was the long fight with cancer that Mr. Tom had. This week I have had a flashback of those days.
It only takes one doctor visit or one car accident or one loss of someone dear etc. to change your perspective on life – in one moment. Suddenly we remember. Life is fragile and special.
Mr. John had an unusual sounding but persistent cough. We thought it might be bronchitis. As it turned out a visit to the doctor on Monday afternoon has led us to make an appointment with a cardiologist. All very doable. And very likely may not reveal anything life threatening or even seriously life altering. But fear and “what if” questions hijacked my inner calm.
Then three hours after that visit Mr. John suddenly spiked a fever. Another flash of fear. What is happening here? Good thing we had a clear schedule though, because we were planning to travel. Silver lining maybe. Well, that is how quickly the flu showed up! He has been very sick but as of today is showing significant improvement already.
Many of you tell me you often read these Wednesday Wisdoms to get caught up a bit on what is going on here at TSJ. I have come to accept that is a good thing. It is difficult in this world to keep up with the people in our immediate families, let alone wider circles of love and friendship.
However, I want to remind you these stories are designed to share some aspects of “wisdom” that are universal and not just personal. Wisdom looks for underlying truths in all our life events.
Our souls do not need much of what we add in our pursuits of pleasure, success and happiness anymore than my toast needs all that butter.
Let’s try to savor the simple and notice we often are on a search of more …. more flavor, more excitement, more success, more perfect body shapes, more recognition and appreciation … and all the things that hijack the real truth and divert our attention from the fact that love is from God to share with each other.
Unwanted events that lead us to dry toast also can lead us to wisdom and love.
Margie with Solomon’s approval..