Monday, February 03, 2014
My so-called life ...
I like this picture ... it was taken a week or so ago by my friend and neighbour Holger as I was heading home after blowing the snow from various driveways in my neighbourhood ... I enjoy firing up the old blower (that was a generous gift from another friend), and heading out after the storm to clear walkways, driveways and boulevards of neighbours ... As I spend two or three hours out in the elements following behind the old blue workhorse, I think about the stories mom used to tell of Dad heading out on the old John Deere 110 to blow our driveway, then driveways all over the north-eastern corner of Stratford we called home ... Dad did it because he liked doing it ... I respect that. I feel exactly the same way.
Despite the inherent futility of clearing snow (you know you'll be doing it again soon!!), there is something deeply rewarding about pulling out of a driveway and looking back at the crisp clean sides and clear space where the had previously been snow banks and drifts! It is also kind of fun ...
This picture though, and this whole winter has been a vivid reminder of the core values I try to hold to.
I value honesty.
I value openess.
I value my family and my friends.
I will pretty much do anything for anyone I consider a friend. I can look back on the last couple of years and still feel the sting of friends who have failed to fulfill their side of our relationship, and have left me hanging financially ... if the folks who owe me money for favours given and help offered, would step up and do the right thing and pay back what they owe, my life would be a little easier right now ...
But, I trust in Karma ultimately. You get what you receive, and how you treat others, and what you do in the world will come back upon you ten fold ... if you lie, cheat and deceive, you will receive the same ... if you try to treat people with love, respect and care, and strive to help those you care about, Karma returns the same to you eventually.
A few months ago I was told to 'go back to your pathetic life' by someone who is not worth even considering ... but they were right. I should go back to my 'pathetic' life. The only problem is that my life is far from pathetic. It is deep and rich and amazing.
I love my children.
I love my job.
I love my community.
I love the circle of friends I have around me.
I love the folks I live and minister amongst.
I love this funky little business called Highland Grounds that just marked its 8th month of existence.
I love the staff team I've assembled, and despite some challenges and set backs, I feel very blessed to have them working for me and helping my business grow and succeed. (Go Team Purple!!)
I love the place I find myself, and that despite the financial challenges that have been part of this first year of business, I feel good that even these hurdles will be over come.
I love being in a place that I don't dread getting out of bed any more, but actually enjoy facing the day and what it brings.
And last, but certainly not least - I love being in a place where my life is feeling good and settled. In the last three years I have struggled in some very deep dark places, I have felt sorrow and sadness that felt like it was going to destroy me, and I have experienced betrayal and hurt that left me gasping ... but as I have for over 20 years of ministry preached on the transformative power of the Resurrection - that transformation has unfolded around me ...
My so-called 'pathetic' life is pretty good.
No it is pretty damned good, and I am blessed and fortunate for all that I have around me.
I still have some sleepless nights trying to solve the latest challenge before me, but by and large I can close my eyes at night and feel the peace of a restful sleep because I've moved from the long dark tunnel that I have been stumbling through for the last few years, and I am feeling the warmth of light, and love and LIFE.
My so-called 'pathetic' life, it anything but pathetic. I have a great family, a fantastic job (times TWO), a wonderful circle of friends, an amazing community, and last but certainly no least - a good friend who makes me smile, and who offers the whisper of something amazing and wonderful ...
When I head out to blow snow (and it WILL happen again soon!) I feel good about life for the first time in a very long time - and that my friends is not just good, that is amazing!!!