Monday, November 17, 2014
Recently I have been bothered by sciatica. It really acted up when I went to Germany two weeks ago. Twenty two hours going from point A to point B was a painful experience. It was particularly painful the next morning! I could not sit upright to get out of bed. I actually had to crawl across the floor to get my clothes from my suitcase - and then I had to dress! I discovered that, although it really hurt to do so, moving actually helped me work through the pain and become able to walk and function. So I took a long walk outside and realized how grateful I was for the simple act of being able to walk. Walking, something I took for granted for over 66 years, became such a wondrous gift! I was so grateful to be able to walk, with or without pain. Of course as the pain lessoned my gratitude grew. In fact I soon found myself laughing. I wasn’t sure why I was laughing but it seemed to have something to do with relief and a picture of me hobbling around Germany as I was getting ready to facilitate a retreat.
My morning sermonette that morning was on gratitude. I was surprised to find that the Germans did not have a word for gratitude. They have a word for thankful but not one gratitude This made it a little difficult to deliver my sermon, but we worked it out.
We can be grateful for all the many wonderful things life gives us that we take for granted until they are removed -like walking, seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling, thinking, etc. There are so many reasons for gratitude! It seems like this could be our prayer, morning, noon, and night both gratitude and glorification! What a life we could have – one full of gratitude.
This story ends with another somewhat humorous moment. The last morning of the retreat I was out taking my walk – to limber up. All of a sudden a flock of hundreds of song birds came and perched right above me singing – and then they began to defecate! For some reason they all let loose at the same moment. I was surrounded by globs of a rain storm of bird shit! All around me big white globs were falling as the birds merrily sang along. The amazing thing was that I did not get hit once. It was a miracle! And again, as I hobbled along, loosening up the pain, I could not help but laugh at the picture of Himayat being shat upon by hundreds of song birds, who if they were trying for a direct hit fortunately had poor aim. The sermonette that morning, which was the last one for the retreat, was also on gratitude.