Have you ever stopped at the end of the day when nighttime chimes its call to slumber and asked... Why was I given this day? Tonight, as I try to answer, my mind seeks out a beginning point only to find a series of other questions rolling out of the original one....
What seeds did I plant?
What seeds did I sow?
Who touched me with their presence, both in person and from afar?
Whom did I touch?
Learning....what did I learn? Was I able to pass on any of my knowledge?
If I could capture the essence of feelings that accompanied me today, what colour would they be?
Who did I remember?
What did I do and how did I feel while I was doing it?
From one seemingly simple question, a plush red carpet rolls out of my reflections revealing more to consider. Each one offers a gift of a deeper look into the day I was given as a gift. In prayer, we request from God, "give us this day our daily bread...." sustenance to thrive on. We request this. Upon reflection we can assess how we utilized this gift of days we are given that make up our lives.
Did I stop.........just once to look around me ..... to see the beauty of my surroundings?
Where did I find the beauty?
Did I stop ... just once to look around me ..... to see the woundedness in my surroundings?
What shocked my senses?
When did I laugh?
Did I reveal frustration, anger, confusion or did I stuff it inside because no one wants to see those big time uglies.
Did I allow someone else to express the uglies, to help them rid them?
What did I create today?
How did I stretch my imagination?
How did I challenge my sensibilities?
What made me uncomfortable?
Who was with me in spirit helping to guide me at some point today?Did loneliness come to visit?
Why was I given this day......?
Was I kind to someone?
Did I scatter more seeds than I sowed?
So many of our days, we push through the 24 hour cycle like our lives are situated on top of a treadmill, our pace the same, our steps the same in order to keep going, keep balanced. Maybe we need sameness because our lives are just too startling and stressful at the moment. Just to "get through" them is a feat. Maybe we dread stopping for fear of being accosted by the stark realities burdening our hearts, weighing heavily on our shoulders. Maybe we skip through a day with a madness of last minute shopping before Christmas and forget that its the joy of giving, the satisfaction of finding just the right gift for someone we love not the completion of the never ending list of "to do's" that matters. Some days seem so lacking in any stimulation that you feel like you've lived it over and over again.
I'm left wondering if perhaps these are the kinds of days when asking the question...... Why was I given this day ...... matters the most?
Ask the question, the treadmill stops. Ask the question and the opportunity to nurture the startling stress with attention happens. Ask the question and the burdens are acknowledged and greeted by awareness. Ask the question and that omnipresent fear of being alone is filled with the real connections you made with others......... face to face, over the phone, through an email, on facebook, at the store, passing someone in the street, at work, in the classroom, out in the parking lot, in your mind's eye.
Did you know that there are at least 3 people out in the big old world who not only thought of you, but love you too. You may not get to see them every single day, but they are out there rooting for you! Cheering you on!
Ask the question to God? "Why was I given this day God?" He's a good sounding board. However, chances are like a good therapist (the ultimate therapy dude, really) God will reflect the question back for you to answer. "You tell me.... Why did I give you this day," He asks...... and you're left figuring it out, with His supportive touch guiding you through the perplexities any opened ended question promotes.
Before the darkness around you folds into your own internal quiet lights out, let your dreams evolve from the abundance of silent reflections. Let your day flow into the refreshing slumber with your gaze be filtered by a sense of resolution. No matter how difficult or trying it was, it can be transformed from an ordinary day on a treadmill to one that actually mattered because of the gifts you gave and received yourself.
I may never have all the answers I want by the time I'm sound asleep....... sometimes the questions keep me up way after my bedtime and that's alright. What I do know is that if I take the time to ponder, even the most wretched day holds a few gems. And if I know I have a handful of gems, it seems to make the struggles all the worthwhile.
So, tonight I ponder, and peak into the wildness of my broad question....... "Why was I given this day?" To fill with as much life as I could..........with as much colour as i could. And I believe I accomplished just that.....
Now its time to dream........of you. Why? Because you are with me every day.... in my actions, in my feelings, in my imagination, and in my soul. You. And I thank you for sharing this bountiful life with me. Little did you know, but you eased my suffering, added to my joy, challenged and stretched my abilities. It was you and the connection I have with you that turned this ordinary day into a recognized bouquet of blessings.