Sunday, March 9, 2008


Last night I stayed up late to finish reading a book, "The Senator and The Priest," by Andrew Greely. I know - it was time change night and I had to get up extra early to get to church, but I was drawn in and had to finish the book. I'm taking a nap this afternoon - that's for sure!

As the title states, it is about a senator and a priest who are brothers. I was drawn to the book because it has to do with two areas of life I have a lot of interest it - politics and religion. One part of the book was particularily interesting to me. The brother who becomes the senator decides to run his campaign with no negative ads. I was drawn to this because there is so much negativity in our society, and we have started to accept it as the norm. Some people seem to thrive on this negativity, enjoying tearing down others and feeling powerful because of it.

It is also easy for us to get drawn into this negative cycle - playing the same game as others, trying to get even when we are attacked, etc. The challenge is to rise above the negativity and rejoice in what we have been given.

When we look at our lives, esp. in comparison with the world, we are so blessed. We have so much - clean water, a roof over our heads, the freedom to live our lives (within certain bounds, of course), etc. Trying to focus on all our blessings, rather then the negative, is not always easy, but when I do I see so many more good things that are happening in the world and in my own life.

I am also reminded that I have been blessed with a family who loves me and a God who cares deeply about me. These blessings are so wonderful that no matter what negativity is out there, I always have people and a God who is going to be there for me.

What about you? Can you see the blessings in your life? I pray you can and you will continue to see them.

1 comment:

Betty Dygart said...

During this season of election campaigns, it is easy to see the effects of negativity. Sometimes I wish it was already November, so the candidates could stop tearing at one another, calibrating the spin they can put on issues, in order to make themselves look the winner. I fear that Hillary and Barack will destroy each other, and allow another Republican to waltz into the White House.

I pray about that.

Right now I am struggling to stay positive about my hearing loss, but God provides. Ironically, I picked up a little book of devotions at the recent Leadership Conference in Madison. It is a book entitled "Cat Psalms," by Pastor Herbert Brokering, also an author and poet. He says, "Cats help me pray," and he is certainly correct on that note.

I have three cats and I love to watch them. They teach me patience, reserve, affection, assurance and so much more. Pastor Brokering has known many cats, and he too, realizes each brings with it its own special personality and messages. I am especially drawn, now, in my present situation, to his very last devotion in his little book.

"Silence Surrounds Me"

I walk without making a sound.
My paws move like fog.
I hold my breath inside every step.
I build silence around me when I walk.
Soft sounds around me are stilled when I approach.
I cannot hear myself move.
Silence is inside me.
I am at peace.
My steps are careful; dry leaves become cotton beneath my paws.
The place I am grows quiet.
They cannot hear me.
They do not know if I am near.
The silence is my strength, my power.
I will not be rushed.
My feet glide and leap with grace, with purpose.
I do not feel my motion.
I am powered from within.
I know silence.
I am cat, walking still.
There is no sound.

"O God,
My soul is still. I breathe without seeming to take a breath. All around me is hushed. You fill my silence with peace and love. My soul grows quiet without trying. Inside I am wide-awake, alert. My soul floats on clouds. I walk in mid-air, my feet and head in heaven and on earth. I move on wings; I fly to you. All sound vanishes as I approach, nothing can enter my silence. Nothing but your still presence. I walk in silence, listening only for your voice, your peace. I am covered in silence. I am at rest. O God, my soul is covered with your peace. My soul is still.