Life has a way of building up like a slow boil. It is as if we are lobsters gently falling to sleep only to realize that somewhere along the line we were overwhelmed and dying. The metaphors reflect that way demands, obligations, and needs are quietly at war with our souls. Most of the time we do not realize that we are in battle for survival until we are overwhelmed.
As I reflected on life with a friend, I was struck by how similar the pressures we are fighting seem to be. I wish I could say it was someone’s fault. Actually I would settle for anyone except for myself! There is far too much truth in the statement that I am living in a hell of my own creation. I try to blame others, using the psalmist’s words as a way to shifting responsibilities; “their enemies made life hard for them; they were tyrannized under that rule.” (Psalm 106.42) Yet, truth be told, I invited the “enemies” into my life.
As I look to break the cycle of domination, I find myself reaching back to old remedies.
Taking time to rediscover and experience beauty and wonder always leaves my heart refilled with hope. It is a priceless gift. It is something I can give myself each at all times of the day. The beauty and peace in the dawn and a city coming to live. The wonder of sharing life with a friend. The experience of a smile and laughter.
Acting on the opportunities to be helpful and courteous changes everything. I see others differently. I begin to see myself differently. It is in the action that my vision and understanding shifts from the negative to the positive and possible.
Create space and time for others leads to new priorities and aspirations. As I turn to others I find that others are turning towards me. In giving them my time I find that I am gifted with more.
Slow boils can be harmful but they do not need to be. Each contains an opportunity.