The day starts with a phone call from some Internet company.
– I’m not interested – I reply.
– But why, it really won’t take…
– No, thank you.
A moment later I find a leaflet about some courses in our post box. Time flies, I’ve got to hurry to work. And there I am greeted by a loan offer from a very insistent bank. As I take care of my customers, I’m being nagged – also on the phone – by a mobile Internet provider. Time passes by very quickly, as usual. I manage to refuse to buy surgical suture. Then I tidy up my mailbox by deleting adverts of watches, pills the name of which I shall leave unsaid, and women’s underwear. I’m ready to go home.
One leaflet is waiting stuck on the gate, the second one – on the ground and the third one in the post box. They all enable me to go through the shelves of hypermarkets in the vicinity. Quite upset with this obvious anti-ecological attitude, I enter the house, and what do I find on the shoe cupboard? A leaflet, of course! Meaning: the kids managed to collect some of the papers from the path in front of our house. This time I learn how to get a really quick loan and a quick pizza delivery.
I’m enjoying the hearth and home. We’re just having supper together when someone rings:
– Excuse me, am I talking to the owner of the phone line?
– Thank you very much.
– But why, you haven’t even listened…
– I am really not interested, thank you very much.
I think the Reader may imagine the feelings that overwhelm me as I start bathing our playful kids. Afterwards, I hope to have some time to sit together with my wife, when:
– Good evening, I would like to invite you for a presentation of our excellent bedding…
And He is waiting. In each minute of the day, He wants to meet me. But He does not intrude himself on. He is waiting patiently, because He loves me. And He’s not mercenary.
…you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Address, 2005
The dots I make each day may temporary fail to show one clear picture.
I discover, though, that a lot of things have happened to me “for some purpose”. They might have been difficult and unintelligible then, the moment they were happening, but they’ve left me with some gift. They turned out to be some added value. Through them, I was given some talent, knowledge, skill.
When I feel discouraged, I may be saying: my picture makes no sense. My dots of this day moved behind the margin of the master plan. And there’s absolutely no point for those few that have been here for so many years.
But it would be pointless to get discouraged. The One, who can see more than me, will show me one day the picture that will dazzle me with the logic of His love. The picture of my life.
So even if I’m not able to get the whole picture, I decide to keep on making dots of my best everyday choices. And command myself to Him with this trust that He’ll fill in all the missing and deficient parts of the picture.
Seek good, not evil, that you may live. (Am 5:14)
Seek, protect, support and strengthen GOOD – in my spouse and in me.
DoesN’T that sound like the prescription rooted in His Word to help “my love NOT to burn out”?
a wife told her husband.
Does it really work that way? Can love burn out?
The education making me ready to start work lasts from 12 to 19 years (if you add postgraduate studies).
Getting a certificate in a foreign language – requires 600-650 h.
Driving lessons – about 60 h.
How much did it take you to get ready for marriage? Marriage preparation course?
Is that enough?
What else can you do in that field? How to translate your knowledge into competence?
A feeling may burn out, but love never does!!!
You just need to know where to look for love. How to take care of it! How to nurture it.
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:45
It’s good that God’s sense of justice is so completely different from the human version of it, because we’re always given another chance – despite our weaknesses and failures.
So let’s be grateful for God’s mercy, for His love, which accepts us as we are. His love comes always before everything else; it heals, liberates and changes the old into the new.
Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. (Psalm 25:4)
For me, the Lent is the exceptional time of taking a closer look at the ways of the Lord, especially his most difficult and last way – the Way of the Cross. The way of remaining silent and gentle, the way of sacrifice, patience and rising from the falls, of accepting – without complaint – all the painful and difficult part of life.
I guess I can tell God’s ways from those that are not His. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m an expert on the former. I’m still learning. I’m learning the “highway code” of those beautiful and difficult ways.
I know these ways are safe, protected and they have clear destination. I don’t want to turn back, though I know I can turn around and choose another path: God’s ways do strip me of freedom. Falls are inscribed in the progress, so I mustn’t get discouraged. Because it’s not about high speedometer read-out and perfect performance – inside and outside.
The vital thing on the Ways of God is to trust Him and let Him guide you, as He has foreseen everything: every bump, every thorn and curve. With Him, each fall, hardship and effort are just the means of achieving something more! It’s so much easier for me, when I realize that, to go through each tough experience with some positive attitude. In the end, all His paths lead to Joy!
I like what Michał wrote. Just the day before I was talking to a friend who said that you have to realize that a married couple is two separate people. 1 and 1.
It’s obvious at the first glance that I and my husband are different and no one would take me for him – and the other way round. At the second glance, I see that „he” has entirely different habits, ideas for leisure, and his ways to react to events. When he puts away clothes, he does it in a manner so varying from mine. Let’s be honest: it’s sometimes annoying.
That’s when I need the third glance. And then I realize that „he” is someone other than „me”. And it’s not about the list of differences that could be listed endlessly. He is different in the absolute sense, „the other”, as God is – „the Other”. I have no rights over „the other”, and if I think otherwise, I’m a usurper. On his face God wrote a message for me: „Thou shall not kill”. And the face, even while speechless, expresses this message in its defenselessness.* How much respect and concern is necessary not to hurt this defenselessness – in my dictatorial inclinations.
Love in marriage is not a cavity that devours the other and digests him/her into the perfect copy of its own „perfect” self. Because the distance between „I” and „you” can only be challenged by dialogue, by opening myself to the otherness of „you”. It’s a journey into the unknown.
*You can read more in Emmanuel Lévinas’s Time and the Other.
Don’t think I forgot basic maths. That’s not the case. The title results straight from the experience of the last weekend. As my wife left to join post-graduate course, I had two days and a half of pure „being a Dad”. Contrary to popular belief, the four of our children were clean (almost), neatly dressed (I think so) and fed (that’s what they were saying). In short: we made it – even though the love of my life was four hundred kilometers away.
And yet, I could see and sense something different about the whole situation. What was missing was this thing we contribute to – day by day, from hour to hour – when we are TOGETHER.
Because marriage is not just the sum of what two people are and what they bring into a relationship, but the entirely new reality of WE. In many other relationships we can help each other, replace each other, but the sacrament of marriage enables us to do something totally extraordinary – to go beyond the simple maths of 1 person + 1 person and create something new. That can be easily missed in everyday life, but the moments we’re left alone are a perfect opportunity to realize the great potential of „WE”.
Gentlemen, if you haven’t tried that one yet, I encourage you: give your beloved wives a weekend off. It’s mutually beneficial.
“… your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,..” (Matthew 6:7-15)
Isn’t that wonderful that we’ve got the Father in heaven? And that we are the heirs of heaven? And that He looks after us all the time? And that we may actually call Him “Abba, Dad”?
Today is our Children’s Day, too!
Every day at 13:30 sharp my cell phone reminder beeps and displays: “That’s good, because…”. At that time of day, originally selected for no special reason, I usually come to a conclusion that miraculous effects of caffeine are just mythology conjured up to please the palate. In general, at 13:30, the pace of the day speeds up and many (un)expected things happen. And the reminder keeps on repeating, every day ever since Spetmeber: that’s very good, because…
That method, which I started implementing on holiday, was frequently put to test. The most difficult moment came when – by killing a mosquito on the toilet flush hose – I brought about a huge hydraulic failure. The hose broke in two and turned into a shower. My Husband had just fallen asleep and I, left to my own devices, was depserately trying to figure out the ending of “that’s good, because …” I succeeded in the end.
That’s how I started saying things nobody would have suspect me of. It’s wondeful there’s that thick mist today, we’ll take such extraordinary photos of the seaside. It’s great it’s raining, because the kids had been dreaming of putting on their wellingtones. At times, I seemed to be surrounded by some fabulous aura.
In short, that’s a very good way to change the attitude of seeing the hole into seeing the donut around. The Author of the method, Fr Jay, has also another saying of his: you need only 21 days for a thing to become your habit.
That does not sound like a lot of training, compared with the results behind the finish line.