As I sit here sipping coffee, to go along with my Advil-to-chase-away-my-wrist-pain, I am grateful. Here is a new morning, and my little dog Bixby is as spunky as ever, chewing on his miniature toy by my side. A part of me wants to feel old, but a much needed good night’s sleep has renewed me. I have come to a good place in my life, started saying yes to things I formerly wouldn’t, the dog being one of them. These things have brought such rewards and my life is full, not empty, and not lacking, but full of goodness. So I’ll take a moment and be grateful. I realize there must be a Bible verse that communicates all of the hope and gratitude I am feeling. Thanks to the internet, (which makes so many dubious things available, so why not just the right Bible verse), here it is:
It being Lent, I wanted to do something selfless. The fact that I have not given up much because I am so sporadic in my asceticism, (meaning I have practiced it as a response to anxiety or extreme emotion, never on purpose, so choosing to do so is hard for me lately), leads me to try other ways of being selfless. I just in the last six months have started feeling healthy again after an extremely emotional year in my family. As a result, I’ve decided to give things away for Lent, donate things more, and to actually study the Bible more. So, I looked in my long untouched Bible to verify the verse the internet brought me at my request before I shared it. It’s officially verified.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The Bible has been unused for a while, yet I am a woman of faith who attends church and likes to stay involved in many of the good things happening there. I have read probably 80-85% of the whole Bible in my lifetime, due to a religious upbringing that included four years in a religious private school. Having said that, what people use the Bible for at times frightens me. The many possible interpretations unnerve me. People who interpret the Bible and have no give or compromise on what they think it means are scary. The fact that the Bible contradicts itself in many places is quite confusing. How many different men were involved in its production? What can a person in search of spirituality do with all this? I don’t know,but I do think attending church and listening to the sermons of a person well-educated in the Bible is helpful. Bible discussion is helpful, though I would probably run the other way when someone takes the Bible literally and argues until they’re red in the face because, for example, I don’t think women have to be subservient to men. What my love for the Bible comes down to is the story of the New Testament. The story of Jesus is touching, redeeming. Someone once said to me, but it’s only a story. “Is it, really?” I asked.
“Well, no one can prove it,” he replied.
“That’s a definition of faith, isn’t it?” Even something unproven is still possible. Believing in the possible makes my world grow. That makes sense in this expanding universe. Studies show that faith, which is akin to positive thinking, is healthy for the soul and the psyche. I may slip at times, but I am finding my way to appreciate each morning of a new day, and the possibilities it brings.
His mercies are “new every morning.” When I believe that, I can feel the sun’s rays on my face at daybreak; it is a glorious feeling, of a power far beyond mine. I am glad there is a power beyond mine, because sometimes I am week, and I like knowing there’s someone I can rely on and ask for help. This gives me comfort, just like the sunrise that comes and gives us the promise of a new day.
Sunrise, my son, and the birds he loved to chase. Circa 2008.