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Thursday, July 31, 2014
One of those daysPosted Tuesday, October 9, 2012, at 3:21 PM
It was one of those mornings.
My electric razor head broke into five pieces that would not fit back together. It was one week past the two-year warranty. My Soni-care electric toothbrush's battery died (after 11 years). I rushed to Wal-Mart, bought a new Soni-care and a new electric razor, rushed home, used the new razor only to have the head flip open while in use with the three combs falling out from their matching three cylinder heads.
And that was just the start of the day!
It seemed that every 10 minutes something broke, or something went wrong, or something occurred that caused me to wonder if I was still asleep and having a nightmare. Thank the universe that one of those telephone solicitation callers reached me and allowed me to scream at the top of my lungs at another human being! I have never had one of those callers hang up on ME before; it's usually the other way around.
I somehow made it through the day without killing myself or another breathing person. That evening I quieted down to read a chapter in a book my Sunday school class has been reading and discussing. Anne Lamott is the author of Traveling Mercies and her rather unorthodox Christian writing style has kept my interest. That night's chapter begins with her having the same kind of day that had been mine. A Buddhist friend tells her that:
... they believe when a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born -- and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible. (Page 107)
I sat and stared at that thought for quite a while. My day had been frustrating for me but ultimately no one was harmed and no one was killed and nothing was permanently damaged that couldn't be replaced by the smiling salesclerks at Wal-Mart. And while my attention stayed focused on all the little things that I thought was wrong ...
Perhaps the universe was trying to birth into my life something that will be a blessing much further down the line, the early seeds of which I would have deflected or strangled by the ordinary tasks that usually preoccupy my mind.
Fascinating. What a statement of faith and hope. You can gain a lot of insight by becoming aware of spiritual writings and beliefs that are found outside of your own comfort zone.
Before falling asleep I had two light bulbs burn out from the same socket, the power briefly went out causing me to have to reset all my electronics, and at 2:30 a.m. I awoke to all seven of my smoke detectors shrilly "binking," with it taking me 30 minutes to find the one out of seven whose battery had died. But I didn't get frustrated or mad.
Indeed, I kept laughing during the morning that whatever the universe was birthing must be a huge blessing for my life later on.
P.T. Wilson is the senior pastor at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church, Greencastle, and is also the University Chaplain at DePauw University.