L'Abri Journals...ACGray

June 2002
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Grateful Living

 It is important to know that success, in God's eyes, is not what we achieve, but what the process of the struggle does to us.  Dealing creatively and constructively with leftovers, shattered dreams, and thwarted hopes may well bring finer character, deeper joys and a more useful life than any smooth or carefree experience could have fashioned.  In the last analysis, it is not what happens to us, but what happens in us that supremely counts.  Whenever we conquer our own fears, doing with love and courage the thing that we have to do, then, no matter what the results may seem to be at the moment, we are victorious.  We are counted as successful in the eyes of God.         Dale Turner, Grateful Living

These past few days I have been resurrecting once-and-twice read books from my library, pouring over them again with the insight of having grown older and hopefully wiser.  Dale Turner's book was a gift from my Seattle friend, George Peek, who for several years sent me clippings of Turners insightful columns on spiritual living.  Turner's provocative insight on how to deal creatively with the leftovers of life is needed always at whatever age.  Im very much aware that I am living in a leftover time of life.  For whatever remaining years, months, or days vouchsafed me, I want to make them count for a better world.  Realizing my limitations in our now troubled and dangerous world, I am blessed with a mostly-always balanced mind, a measure of good health, a Guidebook to inspire me and show me the Way, and untold resources from heaven for abundant living.  Thanksgiving with love, abiding joy, and a song in my heart is my daily moment-by-moment hymn.  For whatever leftovers I may have and as I wrote in my first book, I want the whole world to share in my loaves and fishes.

        Two families are spending the summer with me at Chalet LAbri!  A phoebe has made her nest under my porch deck.  Also, an elusive family of birds occupy Patrick Kennedy's handcrafted miniature replica of Chalet Arbreux that now rests on a post supporting my porch.  At the store where I work, two killdeer have built a nest in the gravel parking lot.  Their Latin name is charadrius vociferous (shorebirds loud), aptly named because they squawk vociferously as you near their nest that contains four spotted eggs.   The guidebook tells me that the clutch usually hatches in 24 days and that  a second clutch may be possible.  Blessed events! 

   One of the amazing things about nature is the silent voices that call to one another across vast spaces.  The moon calls to the deeps in the sea, raising the tides.  Twice a day the waters rise in tides across the earth, because of the moon calling to the ocean.  You know how the sun and the rain call to the deeps in a seed, causing it to stir with life and to spring up and grow.  There are vast distances that call to the deeps in wild birds, causing them to wing their way across trackless wastes to lay their eggs; there are voices that call to certain fish, sending them across the seas to spawn.  In this way the Psalmist is reminded that God calls to man.  There are deeps in God that correspond with deeps in man, and He calls to them."  Ray Stedman, in a sermon A Song of Confidence (Psalm 42:8)

   I dont know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know:  the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.   Albert Schweitzer