Welcome! This site is an endeavor to spread an attitude of positive thinking and optimism. By searching for joy and beauty in all things - even the mundane, perhaps a smile will spread from my computer ... to you!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Paying Attention"

Something very cool happened to me this morning. Call it an epiphany, "light-bulb moment," a close-encounter of the spiritual kind - whatever - I prefer to call this a "Hellooooo......McFly" moment.
Remember the movie "Back To The Future" starring Michael J. Fox? There is a scene in the movie where the bully, "Biff" has grabbed George McFly and starts rapping on his head saying "Hello - McFly!" and the phrase has hung around in conversation since 1985. (I can honestly say our family has repeated it several times!)
What I experienced this morning can only be described as God grabbing my attention, and (practically) rapping on my head.
I've always joked with my husband that he seems to be able to receive obvious and discernible answers to his prayers or conversations with God. Whenever I've been faced with a major decision or cross-roads in my life, it seems that answers and direction never come easy for me!
We learned this past week that a dearly-loved and former priest from our parish was recently diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say, emails and phone calls have been flying around the community, alerting our church family to unite in prayer for this extraordinary man. Our women's council has really gotten "the ball rolling" by enlisting our council members and their families to pray the rosary each day until his surgery later this month. They then will send him a card with the names of those participating and the number of rosaries offered up in his behalf.
Not only is this call a chance to join in a common purpose with my faith community in the spirit of love and prayer, it is another opportunity for me to grow in discipline. When I first responded to the request to offer a daily rosary, I imagined myself taking some quiet time each evening, probably just before bedtime, to spend in prayer and recite the rosary. After all, this was another one of my New Year's resolutions - to develop a better habit of daily prayer, meditation and perhaps a little scripture reading. Adding the rosary for my former pastor was surely an added inspiration.

Today after my usual morning routine, I decided to color my hair. Now, the decision to do this myself (again, after about 8 years of having someone else do it) is a whole other blog on its own! Anyway - after applying the color and discovering that I had to wait an entire half-hour for the product to effectively cover all my gray - I put a plastic cap on, turned on the television in our bedroom, and proceeded to look for something interesting to watch while I waited. I couldn't find anything. "The View" was a re-run, there weren't any interesting shows on the "Home and Garden Channel," and even the shows on the classic movie channels were ones I had seen just way too many times. Funny thing is, in-between clicking the remote, I kept thinking that "I should start that rosary....read another chapter in my bible...." I really did. I must have stood there in my old pajamas and a plastic bag on my head clicking away at the remote control for a good ten minutes. Nothing was capturing my interest on that television. I finally decided "what better time than now?" I selected one of the music channels playing soft, "new age" type melodies, and sat down near my bible and a couple of the other devotional-type books I occasionally read.

I picked up my small devotional book first - entitled "Daily Wisdom for Women" - designed to be read daily, with the day of the month printed on each page. I turned to January 6 - each day's reading begins with a bible verse, and today's was from Psalm 5:3: "In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."
It had my attention. The short story that followed was a reflection from another mom who shared how she developed a habit of rising before anyone else in her family, in order to have time alone to pray. Wow. It hit me - I've been enjoying the feeling of snuggling in my big king-size bed under the warm and fluffy comforter with my honey way too long...I've become a little too complacent recently. Cold weather and a long holiday break aside, I knew when reading this, that the time had come for me to put aside this lazy luxury and devote at least a little time to my spiritual health.

But the real kicker came when I read the short prayer at the bottom of the page:

"Lord, I wander around like those who have no hope, forgetting to ask You for wise solutions to my dilemmas. Help me remember to come to You before I start my day."

There it was....."HELLO - McFLY !!!!!"

Considering what had just occurred, and what I had been contemplating this morning, I was seriously humbled - tears came to my eyes. He heard. God answered me. Maybe not in the way I was expecting, but He listened....and then got my attention. Yep - He pretty much had to hit me over the head, but it worked. As I continued to sit there in my chair with my stinky, gooky hair in a plastic bag and my pajamas on, I continued to read a short chapter in my my bible, and then prayed a rosary. The half-hour I could have spent just mindlessly watching T.V. became a true moment of enlightenment in my life.

I've briefly mentioned before that our family like many others, has experienced some hardships over the past year or so. And while I do take time for prayer and worship, my personal life of devotion has seriously slipped of late. That little prayer at the bottom of today's daily devotional really said it all - I need to start my day by speaking with God, reflecting on His word, and (even if only for a moment) meditating on how I can be a better child of God over the course of the coming day.

I've always known that He's there. I just forget to recognize his presence in the every day "stuff" - the little surprises, the opportunities given, the people I meet or talk to. It makes sense to me now: by taking the opportunity to get myself up a little earlier and "stealing" away for some quiet time with God, I'm actually devoting time to me. Call it an exercise in spiritual health (if you will) - but I know that by doing so I will continue to gain understanding, wisdom, and most importantly, faith. For once in my life, He's made it perfectly clear...I just need to seize the day!
May God Bless you today with an "Ah-ha!" moment, a "light-bulb" moment, or even a "Hello! McFly." (Just be sure to listen!)

Pay it forward - spread a smile!

Prayer and excerpts taken from "Daily Wisdom for Women," Carol L. Fitzpatrick (Barbour Publishing, Inc.)

Image courtesy of Google images.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I cherish your comments and thoughts - sharing is caring!