Monday, April 11, 2011

Giving and receiving

You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.

~John Wooden

Once upon a time, there was a Boy.

Boy lived in a valley of mountain and snow. The mountains always stayed. The snow did not. Summer was coming! Boy couldn't wait to spend some time in the sun. The gentle rays of warmth washing over him...

Boy opened his eyes, sighing with regret. Inside the library, he looked out the windows at the clear, chilly sky outside. Soon.

Boy looked around at the rows and rows of computers. Full of students. Not one open. Boy settled down to wait. A girl had been standing there already, waiting. A few other boys and girls join Boy and Girl, standing impatiently, waiting for someone to finish.

Minutes passed. Boy thought of homework to complete, exams to be studied for and taken, his date this weekend, his plans for the summer.... summer....

Movement! A computer was free! Freed from the shackles of one student, only for seconds, to be again snared to do another's bidding.

It was not Boy's turn. He stood there waiting patiently.

But wait!

Girl was supposed to go next! Why was an inconsiderate boy moving toward the computer? Girl had a resigned expression on her face, disappointed but accepting the blow.

Boy didn't think, didn't have to reason, doesn't have to know Girl. Without saying anything to her, he marched over to the inconsiderate boy and politely informed him that he was out of turn, that Girl was next to get the computer. Inconsiderate boy didn't hesitate to show his annoyance. But he stepped aside. Boy motioned to Girl.

Girl came over, shyly said thank you and sat down at the computer to quietly begin her crucial homework assignments.

The Boy/Hero walked back to his place to wait for another computer, silently and without fanfare. Thinking of summer. Oblivious to the boy in the blue glasses next to him who had wordlessly observed the scene. Who thanked Boy in his mind. Who has now written down this story. Who asks, "What can I do today?"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Oh the Fickleness!

Dear Mother Nature,

So a couple quick questions for you...

This is the month of April right?

K so I haven't lost track of time.

Last couple weeks you've given some nice 70 degree days haven't you?

And I'm very thankful that you did! It was very nice of you.

Well thanks for answering those questions so quickly and pleasantly. I do have one more for you...

Why on EARTH has it been SNOWING outside??

Quite Perturbed

Dearest Mother Nature,

As I read my previous letter, I feel the harshness of my inquiries and ask for forgiveness.

(Negativity is never becoming on one's countenance. But alas, all have one fault or another.)

Rather, I should have taken the attitude of poet and thinker John Ruskin to heart, "Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."

There can be wonderful qualities located in any and all situations one might find themselves in residence, one simply has to focus on said qualities.

So I thank you Mother Nature, for letting me once more enjoy the simple beauties of a snow fall.

Cordially yours,
A Newly Thankful Heart

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Life, Synonym: "Challenge"

We all know that life isn't easy. It's a given.

But there are times when events occur and you see afresh just how crazy, strange, and difficult this mortal existence we stroll through really can be.

I lost a good friend and mentor this past week. My high school cross-country coach. Daric Beiter. A man I don't think I fully appreciated till he was gone. Taken at a young age. Gone peacefully to a better place. Leaving us with a memory.
Daric Beiter 1974-2011

Death is a strange thing. It happens thousands if not hundreds of thousands or millions of times a day on this planet, but how often do we humans really dwell on it? I submit that it is quite a small number in comparison.

Then it hits close. We begin to dwell. We turn to God. To family. To friends. This life no longer seems like the endless road it sometimes seems. Suddenly, it's just a small little country road. Fortunately for us, when the little, dusty road ends, we then hit the limitless highway we were heading to the entire time. Coach Beiter took his exit earlier than we thought. There's still so much ahead to learn. He's started a new journey. Best of luck Coach! And many prayers to your dear wife and family. For those who might be struggling with a death of a loved one, check out the video my mom posted on her blog.

And what about us still down on this country road we call the mortal existence? There are bumps and ruts that pervade the path ahead of us, some going through bigger bumps and deeper ruts than the rest of us. How do we handle those? Take two people that I've had the wonderful privilege of meeting in the past few days. Marius. Stephanie. Two individuals who've gone through so much. Click their names to see their stories. We can truly learn from their examples on how to deal with trial and tribulations in our lives. I know I certainly took away a new attitude.