Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Obligation or Opportunity


Another gem from my parish’s Deacon Ken

Obligation or Opportunity

A father in northern Wisconsin, the day after a major snowstorm once quipped, “Aw, nuts!” He grumbled to no one in particular as he looked out the picture window upon 14 inches of new fallen snow. “Fourteen inches of obligation!” His kids looked out the same window. “Yippee!” they shouted, and rushed to put on their snow clothes. For them it was 14 inches of opportunity! Same snow - two completely different perspectives. I wish we could think more like kids. I wish our first response to winter would be snow angels rather than shovels. When severe adulthood squeezes out childish play, the snow becomes an unpleasant burden. He muttered something about “bleak midwinter” to his wife. She rebuked him gently. “It's not so bleak, honey. In fact, it's like a beautiful post card out there! Just look, the snow sparkles like diamonds!” I suppose beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

Bishop Desmond Tutu observed that each day is a gift, and that is why it is called the present. Whatever the day brings is part of the gift, and that includes snow. As winter approaches, it would do us well to focus on the opportunity, rather than the obligation. Otherwise, it will be a long winter of discontent. Whether you look for the positive or the negative - either way - you'll find it. Joy comes with gratitude. Misery accompanies grumbling and complaint. “In everything”, the Bible says, “give thanks.” That includes the bleak midwinter! Christmas is just around the corner. I think I'll make a snow angel!

2 comments:

Louis M said...

Nice!

Louis M said...

BTW, have a blessed Christmas,Tom. :)
Thanks for everything.