The World Beyond Me, The World Around Me, The World Within Me

Before breakfast can be sorted, eaten and cleared away, I am aware of the world beyond me.  The waking alarm rings to the sounds of the radio.  The radio broadcasters tell me the current time; the weather for today, tomorrow and the day after; and the current events within the past 12 hours.  Logging on to the www, I have a screen-to-face encounter in greater detail of the current events within the past few hours; the weather for today, tomorrow, five days ahead and ten days ahead.  E-mails delivered from around the block and from around the world update me with more facts and figures.  Words and pictures delivered via text message on a handheld device for verbal communications bring a more immediate message.  Priority, urgency and convenience decide my reaction and response to all.

By the time dinner can be sorted, eaten and cleared away, I have been busy in the world around me.  Tom, Dick and Sally continue to battle cancer, wage war against a failing heart and journey through the wilderness of dementia.  I visited and ran errands; how I can help is limited but I do what I can.  Jack and Betty Jo’s daughter has just been abandoned by her husband, leaving her battered with bruises, no bank account and two toddlers.  Betty Jo is trying to be her support system; in the short phone call with Betty Jo, however, I could hear her knees knocking and heart racing too.  I dropped a card in the mail to missionary friends overseas.  Their last newsletter reminded me they have been away from their families now for six months.  The “honeymoon” phase is over and the reality of another culture has set in.  I added the finishing hem and detailing today to the gingham curtains that will hang in the nursery for Arch and Val, such a sweet young couple. Their cottage home is simple but full of love.  They are close to delivering their first little one, but just a year after the intimate wedding ceremony in our back yard.  Susie has her first date this weekend.  Already, she has spent hours choosing the right outfit.  I’ve laundered the jeans and t-shirt and I’ve sewn the new buttons on the sweater.  Tomorrow I will iron with the utmost care.   I will take her Saturday to get her hair trimmed and to buy a new shade of nail polish.  Ty will be home soon.  The commute home takes longer and longer after the work day grows lengthier and lengthier.  He has been faithful to provide for us even through these tough times.  His hair is grayer and his joints are creakier than when we started, but his love for me has never been stronger.

By the time the house grows quiet, the lights are dimmed and the bed is turned down, I settle in my favorite chair with a cup of tea, my journal and the Word.  I breathe in deeply of the quietness, the peacefulness and the completeness of the day.  Releasing slowly and methodically, I let go of the weight, the burdens, the unknowns and the concerns of the day.  In meditation, thankfulness and gratitude wash over me.  Humility clears my soul from the ravages of injustice and neediness.  The tension of my shoulders loosens its grip.  My heart takes on a new rhythm.  I search for Truth and receive hope anew.

Knowing that what happens in the world beyond me is beyond my control, I give it a nod of respect.  My future looks bleak against that backdrop but I cannot let that weight paralyze me with fear.  Wise and deliberate decisions can be made even as the storm gathers force.  Knowing that what happens in the world around me is within the realm of the ones I know and love, I give to them from my heart and from the resources that I have.  I enjoy watching as they walk through life with respect, value and full hearts.  Knowing that what happens in the world within me, I honor the home of my heart.  I take out the trash, sweep away the cobwebs, wash the windows and stock the cupboard with food for the soul and wine for the spirit.

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