Feeling blessed

Yesterday was a slightly hectic day for us. My first meeting of the day was at 8:30. I left for the office at about 6:30 am, which gave me time to go through my email and respond to a couple of things that needed to be done. When I got to my meeting, there was a text message about some reorganization that is going on at the church that needed my attention. After the meeting, it was back to the church to consult with staff, check email again and before long it was time to get some lunch. I had time to go home for lunch, but by the time I returned there were volunteers working at the church and I worked with them. Somewhere along the way, the road construction down the hill from the church meant that the water was turned off. While it was turned off, someone tried to turn on a faucet and left it on full blast with the sink drain plug in. When the water came back on the floor of the kitchen was flooded. There were three of us working mops before we got it cleaned up. Then it was time for brass rehearsal. When that was done I had a couple of other things to take care of and soon it was time to walk around and lock the church and head home for dinner.

When I write about it this morning, my schedule doesn’t seem at all hectic. I got to go home for lunch and for dinner. There are days when I don’t get a break for meals. The main thing about my day yesterdays that it was filled with the pacing and needs of others. I didn’t have time to work on my own projects. I usually have the liturgy for the week roughed out by Tuesday evening. I didn’t even get started on it yesterday, because I couldn’t find time to sit at my desk and work.

After dinner, as I was working on a project at home, I got to thinking about some of the conversations I had during the day. My life didn’t seem that hectic when I compared it with the circumstances in which others find themselves.

One person with whom I spoke yesterday will be going public with the announcement of a divorce this week. There have been lots of behind the scenes talk of divorce for some time. there has been counseling and conversation and consideration of other options. But the decision has been made. It isn’t what the person I was speaking with wanted, but it is what can be accepted. One comment that was made to me was, “It’s about as amicable as a divorce can be.” Amicable, however, does not mean painless and the pain was evident as we spoke. The process of making the announcement is complex. Divorces mean the break up of family and there are a host of co-parenting decisions that are yet to be made. Divorces affect extended families and it is unclear how others will react. Divorces have dramatic effects on family finances and it is unclear how the bills will be paid. Divorces affect employment status and career paths and although this should not be a problem for the individuals involved, surprises do occur. My heart breaks for the couple and for their children and I couldn’t get their circumstances out of my head.

One the one hand I am deeply grateful that I have not had to go through a divorce. On the other hand, I know that in a way my joyful marriage creates a barrier between me an those who have suffered divorce. I can’t really understand all of the dynamics of their lives.

There is someone who I’ve known for many years who is going through the process of waiting for biopsy results. The doctors are fairly certain that the diagnosis will be cancer, but are waiting for lab results before making a full diagnosis and considering a treatment plan. This particular individual already has a very complex life with many others who depend on that person. One comment from that individual was, “I hope it is benign simply because I don’t have time to get sick right now.” I hope it is benign, too, but I also hope that the individual can find more personal time in the weeks to come whatever the outcome. In the meantime, positive confirmation and waiting for test results is excruciating. I know that the doctors are really just being cautious and wanting to be sure, but I wonder if they understand how heavy the burden of waiting can be for some patients.

Those are just two of the many stories that make up the lives of the people in my circles. When I compare my day to theirs, I really have it good. There is no reason to gloat, but the truth is that I don’t have anything worthy of a complaint. My life is graced with a strong and joyful marriage. We have healthy children and grandchildren who are amazing and loving and attentive. I have an extended family with a few quirky personalities, but we have been remarkably free of painful separations and rifts within our family. I have a job that I love and steady employment. The usual conflicts that arise in the church are present in every organization and, frankly, we’re pretty good at handing conflict and moving on with the life of the church without hurting people’s feelings excessively. I am surrounded by dedicated and generous workers in the church.

As I take time for my prayers this morning, my thoughts are focused on others whose stories are filled with much more fear, uncertainty, pain, loss and grief than my own. Praying for them is important because when you are facing life’s challenges it is important not to be isolated and feeling like you are the only one praying for your particular concern. It is also important for me because it reminds me of how much in this life I have for which to be grateful.

My life is blessed even when it seems a bit hectic.

Copyright (c) 2019 by Ted E. Huffman. I wrote this. If you would like to share it, please direct your friends to my web site. If you'd like permission to copy, please send me an email. Thanks!