originally posted on Fri, 17 Dec 2010 00:00:50 GMT
Today around 3 pm I noticed some dark clouds rolling into the neighborhood. For a moment I thought we might have a thunderstorm, or at least some rain. Instead, we got wind and lots of it. The gusts were strong enough to knock the power out at the church for awhile, and they were also sufficient to bring the temperature down about ten degrees in less than a half hour.
It was a cold front, of course, that made its way through the area, and for this I am very grateful. Once it gets over 80 degrees, I am too hot. Give me days in 70s or even 60s over hot, muggy ones anytime. Even now, at a little past midnight, I am enjoying the cool breeze blowing through my window and giving thanks that I will need no AC or fan tonight while I sleep.
It is a small blessing, but sometimes a small blessing is all we need to get through the day. Sometimes a small blessing can even change our whole perspective on life. The effect of a small blessing can, in fact, be anything but small.
My friend Jim knows one of my little weirdnesses that I also count as another small blessing when I can pull it off (I think he calls it a “small, good thing”). You see, I drink my coffee with cream, or more specifically, fat free half and half. What I love to do is to pour my coffee in the cup, get it swirling with a spoon, and then, when the moment is just right and speed of the swirl is just so, I pour in the cream. If I have timed it well, the cream mixes with the coffee in such a way that I have a miniature hurricane on the surface of my drink . . . a veritable tempest in coffee cup, so to speak. It just makes me smile to see my mini-storm of coffee and cream moving around, and for just a moment, or maybe two, all is right with the world. I am sure I am not the only one who has ever done this, but if you haven’t, I encourage you to try it. You will smile too. I guarantee it.
Anyway, regardless of what they might be for you, I wish you a day filled with small blessings, or at least a couple of them, or even just one. After all, just one might be enough.
I have always considered Frederick Buechner one of my mentors in ministry even though I have never met him in person. The reason for this is that Buechner’s writing touches something deep in my soul, and because of this I have read almost everything he has published. The following quote called my name this morning.
"The time is ripe for looking back over the day, the week, the year, and trying to figure out where we have come from and where we are going to, for sifting through the things we have done and the things we have left undone for a clue to who we are and who, for better or worse, we are becoming. But again and again we avoid the long thoughts….We cling to the present out of wariness of the past. And why not, after all? We get confused. We need such escape as we can find. But there is a deeper need yet, I think, and that is the need—not all the time, surely, but from time to time—to enter that still room within us all where the past lives on as a part of the present, where the dead are alive again, where we are most alive ourselves to turnings and to where our journeys have brought us. The name of the room is Remember—the room where with patience, with charity, with quietness of heart, we remember consciously to remember the lives we have lived."
— Frederick Buechner, from “A Room Called Remember: Uncollected Pieces”