I was sharing lunch with a friend. The restaurant was in an odd location, 6th floor of a parking structure. For this establishment, its prime days were well past. The ambiance was a bit lacking. There were two things going for it; the food and the company were excellent. As we talked of colleagues and our experiences, I realized there was a recurring theme that we were leaving untouched.
Those that were succeeding were let life touch them. They were compassionate and engaged. Their actions reflected a humble appreciatioin for what they had as well as how they could contribute. Each knew they needed the other.
Those that were struggling or failing had insulated themselves from life and their community. They knew they were right! The actions spoke of arrogant confidence. Opinions were held close to their hearts. Views were shared on an as needed basis. Help, accepted or offered, was limited if it existed at all.
I know life can be cruel. Trust, especially among those you consider trustworthy, is often fragile. Working through uncertainties is risky and problematic. You never know what is going to happen next.
Life’s options are challenging. We can trust the other or not. We can go it alone or not. We can step into the unknown or not. In this context, when I read an old author’s comment I see a pre-echo of today; “Just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased.” (1 Corinthians 10.5) Each felt the touch but s/he was not touched. They were at the edge and they chose their path.
Each dawn is the start of a fresh journey. One has survived the dark night. The light brings the opportunity for a new beginning. We can change – in how we respond to those around us. More importantly, we decide if we will let Life touch us. Whatever our choice, it will shape our story and destination.
Whatever happens, being touched is a choice.