Books, Intentionality

One Good Thing About This World

The rain is landing percussively on the office building’s roof and dancing on the adjacent blacktop. It is a rhythmic sound of spring and it is making me smile as I putter through the usual Thursday tasks on my desk. It is spring! For it does not rain in winter, not where I live. The trees have that stripped naked look which only spring can cause. I am daydreaming of tennis matches at the park and bike rides on the county trail. Those activities are still a ways off but I find it easy to believe they will be here in a blink of an eye while I listen to this snowbank melting rain.

I’m starting over on a few things today. The daily workout routine I committed myself to but let slide during the last several days (with good reason; I had a newborn nephew to visit and hold instead of make time for exercise); the fasting from TV for Lent which I cheated on yesterday because I just could not forgo the season finale of Psych; chapter 13 of The Mercy Hour and the critical plot juncture therein; praying Morning Prayer each day before work (why do I convince myself I’ll get through the day okay without starting it in prayer? So lame.); deterimned patience with a few particulars of life that I cannot do much about at present (impatience has been reigning supreme lately)… What would life be without these “starting over” days?

“That is one good thing about this world… there are always sure to be more springs,” remarked Anne Shirley and I must agree. We live prodigal lives. Spending thriftlessly our time and energy, indulging in what will not satisfy, and having to return again and again to what will. We must cycle round to spring before we reach the end of five, ten or all of our years and realize we lingered in winter because it was easier to stay there. Newness and freshness can be encircling us and we stay tucked under our coverings of old habits and weaknesses.

The other night I stretched out on my bed for a good think after reading another chapter of one of my favorite books, I Capture the Castle. I thought about the layers of effects that book has had on me. While reading a favorite chapter I’d realized I wasn’t quite feeling what I’d felt in the past about the story. Not a lesser reaction or affection, but different. Instantly this realization produced sadness and a wish for all that I’d ever thought and felt about the book to remain the same. It took some effort to accept that this was neither possible nor preferable. For an effect to be efficacious, for a change to make change, there must be a result. There must be new aspects to my thoughts and feelings if, as I claim, this book really did have ramifications on my thoughts and feelings. The book, of course, is only one example. An adventure, a job, a friendship, a prayer, any undertaking… they change us (or should) and yet it is so easy to mourn the “old me” that changed instead of rejoicing in what is made new.

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