Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I'm aging

Yesterday I was driving and in the corner of my vision I saw a billboard that read, "Screens repaired."  I wondered how they would be able to make a living repairing screens for windows and doors.  As I got closer and pay more attention, I realized that it was an advertisement for computer and phone screens.  I laughed at myself all the way home.  I'm aging.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Slamming Doors & Meditation

I've a friend who is always in a hurry.  He arrives at meetings in a hurry, barely on time or a few minutes late.  He must catch his breath.  He seems to always have another engagement at the end of the meeting and has allowed barely sufficient time.  He is a minister and he seems to always be in a hurry. When I've asked about his prayers, he tells me how he has told God all that is on his schedule as well as mind and how he asks for God's help.  I've often wondered if he ever thinks that God may have something on God's mind which God would like to share with him.  I wonder how would he have time to stop the hurry and listen.  In 1966 Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Buddhist Monk, visited Thomas Merton at the Abbey of Gethsemani.  When asked about teaching meditation, Thich Nhat Hanh replied, "We don't teach meditation to the young monks.  They are not ready for it until they stop slamming doors." (Richard Rohr, What The Mystics Know, pg 35.)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The gas line was ruptured

Yesterday workmen were using a backhoe to dig a trench for a new sewer line in the house across the street which is being remodeled.  Unfortunately, the backhoe hit the gas line and ruptured it.  Natural gas spewed into the neighborhood.  The police, fire department and gas company personnel arrived very quickly.  The neighborhood was evacuated.  It took about two hours before everyone was permitted to return to their homes.  Either a fireman or gas company individual went into every home checking to re-light water heaters, furnaces, etc.  The gas company personnel worked all day long and into the evening to repair the broken gas line.  As Judy sat at the end of the street during the evacuation (I was at the Church with Bobby), a neighbor remarked to Judy that a simple call to 811 would have enabled someone from the gas company to come and tell them where the gas line was located so they could avoid it.  Such a call would have been so simple and saved the neighbors a lot of trouble, probably the construction company a lot of headache and money.  Why is it that we so often think we don't need to ask for help?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Duck and The Bottle

A friend told me a version of this story.  I checked it out via an Internet google, found another version and then edited it.  So, here is my edited version of someone's wonderful story.
                                                            The Duck and the Bottle        
Frank went to a wise person in search of wisdom. The wise person sent him on a journey, “Climb to the top of that mountain in the distance. At the peak, you will find a cabin, and in that cabin you will find a bottle, and in that bottle you will find a duck. Get the duck out of the bottle without harming the duck or the bottle, and in that process you will find wisdom. I will come to visit you in a week!”
Frank set off on his search. Indeed, he made it to the top of the mountain and found a cabin.  Inside the cabin was a bottle, with a duck inside. But how to get the duck out of the bottle without harming either was puzzling to say the least.  Days of worry and confusion begin turning into frustration and anger. By the end of one week, Frank was stressful and anxious.
The wise person stopped by and noticed the duck was still in the bottle. “I will give you another week. Then I will come to check on you,” he informed Frank.
But a week later poor Frank was full of his worry, anxiety, stress and anger. He had even begun to doubt his abilities.  A seemingly impossible puzzle was sitting beside him, quacking at him and no answer remotely in sight. The duck was still in the bottle.  The wise person stopped by, saw Frank`s situation, asked about wisdom.  Frank said he still hadn’t figured out what to do about the duck and the bottle.  The wise person realized that Frank needed more time to figure out the puzzle.
When the wise person returned the end of the third week, Frank was sitting outside, humming and enjoying the view from the mountain top.  He was peaceful and content as he could be.
The wise person noticed the duck was sitting by his side and still inside the bottle, so he asked Frank what he had learned.  Frank looked him in the eye and replied, “I’ve learned that wisdom knows that this is not my duck, not my bottle, not my problem!”

We often have to remind ourselves that while we care for other people, some of their problems are not ours no matter how much they want to give them to us.