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Attention Therapy

During the night I tweaked my back a little, so when I woke up this morning I was particularly stiff and out of line. To loosen it a little, I went out for a short walk.

The high will be 63, so the air carried that early morning anticipation that fills a spring dawn. Carolina blue was developed for today. March birds were tweeting each other and squirrels were laughing at each other.

And I didn’t notice a bit of it till I was nearing my home at the end of my walk. I spent most of my time with my face drifting toward the ground, mumbling about my back and wishing for a new one.

When I finally looked up, I was a bit embarrassed to notice what I had missed. I thanked God for it, and I thought of all those saints who have endured years of pain with joy – an idea a part of me doesn’t even consider possible.

I thought, in the brief flash of looking up and noticing something other than myself, my world had changed.

Sometimes it takes discipline to notice things that are real. Sometimes we just have to look.

But if we’re going to give due thanks for all the things we’ve been lent, we have to notice them or we won’t receive them.

Some people think life is a veil of tears. I can understand that view. I think it might be more like a vat of glories into which someone has dropped little drops of acids and some blades.

Do, by all means, protect yourself as you can from the acid. But we can’t let it make us forget the glories, and we can’t let them stop us from giving thanks. For a while I became like a back pain because that was what I was beholding. I hope I can become more like a spring day by noticing it and giving thanks for it.

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