Monday afternoon I called a dear friend. Just a simple check-in to see how she and her husband are doing during these strange times. We haven’t seen each other since March, and we’ve had one other phone call since then.
After our first phone call, she began shopping at the same grocery store I do. I had shared how easy it was to do an online order, set a date for FREE pickup, and have your groceries brought out and loaded in your trunk. Monday she shared she had been copying my shopping routine.
We talked about the surprises you get sometimes. Those shopping for you may think they’re picking the perfect substitute for an out-of-stock item. Or the surprise of learning your item is out-of-stock and there is no substitute. Or getting an entirely wrong item despite carefully ordering the one you wanted. AND there are no returns during the pandemic.
A good laugh came out of this part of our visit, and I asked my friend how she was dealing with all these surprises. She said, “Sherrey, for the year 2020 I have decided to lean on the word ‘acceptance.'” I like the idea of leaning on acceptance. A variety of situations exist where this is easily applied. This pandemic year has brought many issues where acceptance would help.
For each individual, there is likely a long list of things quite different from mine or yours. But each of us misses something we believe is an ordinary part of our lives. There is nothing we can do about it. Perhaps we can accept it until the pandemic is over.
I’m not much of a phone conversationalist, but I was glad I telephoned my friend on Monday. We laughed a little, shared a lot about our children, and she enlightened me to the world of acceptance during these times.
Who have you reached out to lately? Anyone? Family or friend? What have you accepted recently?
Two Sundays ago, during our live-streamed worship service, many left comments and greetings. Among them were the words in today’s post title: May goodness define us. A member of our congregation wrote these words for all to read. His choice of words jumped off the computer screen at me. And I knew at that moment what I wanted to do with them.
I wrote them out on a small Post-it note and placed it near my computer. When I felt judgmental about someone’s words or actions toward others, I’d read these words. And I’d stop myself from throwing out a quick rebuttal with four words: May goodness define us. Friends, it is working.
Today I share them here in the hope of others doing the same. How you ask? By spreading thought-provoking reflection throughout the land. Here’s a suggestion to begin.
Today I’m joining a talented group of writers at Five Minute Friday. This community connects each Friday in an online, unedited free-write based on a one-word prompt. My timer is set for 5 minutes. Let’s see where this week’s prompt—PACE—leads me.
The word “pace” has many meanings:
The timing of music and the necessity for all to keep the same pace;
The pace car that keeps everyone at the same speed until the gun goes off to start the race;
The beat of your heart has a pace;
The runner has a pace to win, breathe, relax;
A mother has a certain pace depending on where she is in her day;
So many other meanings that I don’t have time to list.
I’ve always walked at a fairly fast pace. In the last few months, I’ve earned that isn’t my normal pace any longer. The work I’m doing with my physical therapist is my road to getting back to my normal pace. However, for now, my pace is something new and irritating. It’s slower than I’m accustomed to.
Granted it’s getting faster by the day, but for me, it’s not fast enough. When that happens and I sit and brood, the pace of the rest of me slows down. I get depressed and frustrated. I have only one pace left at that time.
I invite God to come and sit beside me, and I ask him to teach me patience and acceptance. He chuckles. God reminds me, “Sherrey, I’ve been trying to teach you patience all your life.” And He’s right—He has.
So, I smile and tell myself to pace myself. Take what comes a day at a time, one step at a time, and one day I’ll find myself walking like I always did.