Lisa and I and our three grown children had about a week together. So we decided to go for a vacation. We did the Cabot Trail of Cape Breton. Absolutely stunning! We enjoyed incredible views, waterfalls, camping, hikes, good food and drinks, but mostly the love of each other and shared laughter.
I want to admit something to you though. I was very stressed as we were packing to leave and for the first part of the trip. Financially, Lisa and I struggle to make ends meet. The trip was going to cost us. But we wanted to do it. So we found a way. It’s called credit.
But that’s not what I want to talk about.
Something very strange happened to me in 2009. For decades I had lived in absolute mental anguish… theological anxiety… that was unbelievably painful for me. Just when I was ready to throw in the towel, I had my waterfall dream (search for it on my nakedpastor blog if you’re curious), and upon waking I had the peace of mind I was longing for. And it has remained. It’s permanent.
The strange part is up to this point I had what could be called a stable career and a steady income. But the mental anguish was there. Now things have switched! Now I have peace of mind, but my outer life is trying to reconcile with it. I don’t have a stable career as a cartoonist, writer, artist, and community facilitator, and I often experience anguish trying to make ends meet.
What a flip-flop!
During one of our hikes, after I had relaxed some, Lisa and I had some moments alone. The kids had moved on up ahead a little. We agreed that we were incredibly rich. We may not have money right now, and that may come. But what we do have can’t be purchased! Here we are, the parents of three incredible young people; they all love us and want to be with us; they dropped what they were doing for a week to go on a road trip with us; we talk about everything and laugh and cry together; we have a decent home with an amazing view; she has meaningful work as a hospice nurse; we have some good friends; we eat and drink well; etcetera, etcetera.
Of course, the most important thing is that the five of us were together and enjoying ourselves. Not very many people are that kind of rich.
We worked hard for it. It just didn’t plop in our lap. We’ve earned it. And now we’re enjoying the fruits of our labour.
Sure, it’s okay to experience stress about some things. But that’s easy. What’s hard is to learn to appreciate what I do have when I have it. Yes, there are bad things happening, things that I’m sad or frustrated or worried about. But all I need right now, at this very moment, I have. I need to remember that if I had to choose I would choose what I had this last week.
If I have the opportunity to be lying on my death bed, I’ll remember weeks like this and not the anxieties that tried to steal those moments.
I love you all.