Thursday, October 22, 2009

Little Things

Journal for Christa—
As much as I long to see the beauty and pleasure in the small things of life, I realize that it’s the little things—the mundane things—that often do me in. I came poignantly face to face with this truth a few years ago when Joel was in Iraq.

It was a regular day at school. I needed to run some copies for the following class during my planning period. It wasn’t a last minute job. I’d tried to run them the night before after a faculty meeting, but the office had been running the parent newsletter—hundreds of copies. I expected the copier to be free on this particular morning; but alas—once again the office was running the newsletter—hundreds of copies. I stared at the number in disbelief and thought, “How many hundreds of copies do they need, anyway?”

I clutched my pile of papers and headed up to the middle school copier. Then, in my haste and agitation, I tripped on the stairs.

As I lay sprawled across the stairs, papers strewn about, and thankfully—totally alone—the realization struck me: “People are dying every day in Iraq, and you are angry about papers? What is wrong with you?”

Yes, it is the little things, the insignificant issues, the inconveniences—that are, in reality, quite manageable—that do me in. And so it has been today. Oh, I wasn’t sprawled on the stairs, but I might as well have been. So, what is a woman to do with a stinky, no good perspective?

Sometimes, I vent to a friend at work—another woman who’ll listen—so Jay doesn’t have to catch the full magnitude of my frustration. Today, I took a walk, kicking up autumn leaves, relishing in the late afternoon sun that’s even more precious because it’ll soon leave for the long Colorado winter. For years I’ve written journals—reflections stated just the way I want to say them. But, probably most of all I give myself “a talkin’ to.” If I can see myself in the scheme of the whole wide world, I know that my mundane is petty.

Anne Graham Lotz says, “The whole world is unraveling, and we have the answer.” If I have the answer, should I be unraveling too?

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