If we are to be aware of life while we are living it, we must have the courage to relinquish our hard-earned control of ourselves. Because our reflexes have been conditioned as thoroughly as those of Pavlov's dog, this is never easy. But reflexes can be unlearned, or reconditioned.
Walking on Water; Reflections on Faith and Art
, Madeline L'Engle
This week found many of us glued to the various screens in our lives looking at the images of the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma and its aftermath. I watched via You Tube as a cloud became an "elephant trunk" that morphed into a monster devouring everything its path. My heart went out to all of those who suffered during the storm, especially those parents who lost their children. I tried to imagine how it would feel to have my life as I know it reduced to the clothes on my body.
The tornado and the aftermath reminded me, once again, how precious time is. It made me revisit the time I spend being frustrated with my children (usually for their refusal to bend to my will) and wonder: Is this how I want to spend time? How aware am I of the life I'm living? How often do I recognize the gifts I've received? I must ask myself these questions and consider what reconditioning must occur for me to let go of my expectations of life and simply live.
Time passes quickly: more quickly than we imagine. Circumstances change in an instant. In less than an hour, the people of Moore, Oklahoma went from routine to devastation. On any given day, in less than an hour, the same could be true for me. I pray that by grace, I have the sense to realize life, to witness goodness, to practice love every day. The greatest compliment that I could offer to the One who gave me life is to be continually aware of that life and to realize how great the gift is.