an alphabet of thanks, “Q”


Noise?
Noise? (Photo credit: AGrinberg)

Quality, qualify, quake, quarrel, quilt, quiet, quirky.

Today I am thankful for quiet. (Quiet doesn’t necessarily mean lack of noise. We can be quiet within even when it’s noisy around us. But for this post, I’m referring to quiet as the lack of noise.) I’m not one of those people who need someone around all the time. I don’t mind being alone especially when I can have quiet time. I find I listen and think better when it’s quiet.

Religious leaders from all faiths have extolled the importance of quiet for meditation. In Christian vernacular, quiet times refer to the times we set aside to read our Bibles and pray.  Although I still read and study my Bible, there seem to be more and more times I remain quiet and just listen. Every once in awhile I like some extended time of total quiet. When even my own voice is not allowed to break the silence.

There has been considerable research about noise and stress and the conclusion has been that noise is a huge stress factor in the world. It certainly didn’t use to be that way. Life was simply quieter a hundred years ago because life was, well, simple. Of course we can turn off the noise if we choose. We just seldom choose. But complete quiet is hard to get used to. Most of us are uncomfortable with quiet. There are reasons for uneasiness.

When we are quiet, the chatter in our head subsides to a whisper. That’s when our demons can come to haunt us. We are faced with our fears and insecurities. That doesn’t scare me like it used to. I’m learning to be comfortable with the “quieter” version of me.

Most of us are going to go through a period of quietness before we leave this earth.  Due to the infirmities that accompany old age, we will have no choice.  Being comfortable with “quiet” and being unafraid to face ourselves will prepare us. I hope this doesn’t sound maudlin but the truth is unless our lives are “interrupted”, we are going to experience old age. If we want to be a serene, contented elderly person, we need to be a serene contented 20, 30, 40, etc year old person.

The future always begins with the present.

what comes around goes around


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God can really upset the apple cart, can’t he? As you know I am a Christian. I believe God directs me when I ask but that he also directs me even when I don’t ask. Today was such a day. I was supposed to take my mom to a movie. She hasn’t been out of the house much for months. As it turned out the movie was no longer playing. It was a beautiful day and with this change of plans, I was looking forward to working in my gardens. I shouldn’t say work, because it’s never work to me. But then my mother decided she wanted to go shopping. Still, I thought this won’t take long. She’s usually eager to come home after only a couple of hours. Not today. We were gone most of the afternoon.

She usually buys nothing. Today, she bought three new pairs of pants, three new tops and a pair of shoes. I was so glad she did. It was good to see her show an interest in life and be good to herself. But for the first hour or so, all I could think of was how much I wanted to be playing in my yard. I am ashamed to admit that. Ashamed to admit I begrudged her even a moment of my time. Why I’m letting all of you know this, I’ll never know. Except that maybe you’re feeling embarrassed about something you’ve done as well.

We shouldn’t though, should we? I mean I did the right thing. I just didn’t want to do the right thing, But the Bible says motives are important. I need to have some much needed quiet time with God as my feelings are all over the place. I’m glad I did what was right but I’m not happy my feelings took a while to catch up. I’m also glad God looks at me in love and lets me start all over. Now I need to extend that forgiveness to someone in my life.

Maybe that’s what today is all about. I need to remember I’m human. I don’t always get it right. I don’t have to be harder on myself than God is and he’s already forgiven me. There’s someone in my life I’m having hard angry feelings towards now. She’s human, too. Maybe if I let myself off the hook, I can let her off the hook as well.

I love the saying “What goes around, comes around.” It’s not always true but in the case of forgiveness, it is.