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Deep Breath: Jesus Has This Covered

It’s been something of an intense Fall in our home. We are always busy with putting up food and closing the gardens and all of that. But life has been handing us lemons it seems – especially those of the $$ variety – and after a while, you think, “come on, Jesus. Can’t you see I’m swimming in lemonade already? Cut me some slack.”

Anyway, I learned today that a course I was planning to teach at the end of this month through Christmas has been canceled. That’s a pretty significant fiscal hit for us, at a time when those kinds of hits aren’t exactly what we’re looking for. We won’t be eating cat food or anything like that, but still. It’s hard.

It was on my mind as my six-year-old daughter I were chopping and spicing veggies this afternoon.  The older kids were at piano lessons; we were working on dinner. We got around to talking about Halloween and carving pumpkins and I said, “well, I don’t think that’s going to work the same way this year.”

In Worthington we celebrate Halloween on the Saturday before October 31. So in our home, we always carve pumpkins that afternoon. It’s a ritual – drawing the faces, scooping the guts, roasting the seeds, carving the eyes and teeth, lighting  them up for our neighbors.

But this year, I was to expecting to start teaching on that Saturday. I was going to miss most of Halloween – certainly the pumpkin-carving part.

Anyway, about five minutes after I told Fionnghuala I wouldn’t be around this year, I remembered that my class was canceled. I would be around after all. When I corrected myself, she smiled and said, “It’s funny how when you want something it just works out perfectly.”

Halloween without pumpkin carving in the afternoon just isn’t really Halloween.

Of course that is a sweet story, but it made me smile for other reasons, too. The essence of a separated world is that things change: thus, what feels catastrophic to me is an answered prayer for my daughter. Only illusions shift and morph.

That is why Jesus teaches in the course that “[w]hatever is true is eternal, and cannot change or be changed” (T-1.V.5:1).

And that is why we really can’t get hung up on what seems to be happening in our lives. We can’t invest in it, or take it too seriously. It doesn’t matter what happens: car accidents, winning lottery tickets, beautiful sunsets, tornadoes.

The circumstances of life flow around us. Its ebb and flow testifies to the separation. But it only seems to be driving us. It only seems to be affecting us. In truth, we are perfectly unaffected by all of it.

Happiness is not really getting what we want: it’s accepting that what we want isn’t here at all. I can’t tell that to a six-year-old. There’s time enough for those lessons in her life. But I can remind myself to breathe and remember that better hands than mine are running the show.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • June Fish October 10, 2013, 6:59 pm

    Sorry about your current financial setback, but I look forward to hearing your story of how you got what you needed just when you needed, even though you don’t see it right now.

  • Chery October 10, 2013, 10:12 pm

    Our lives, like yours Sean, have been non-traditional, but in a different way, of course. My husband, a masonry contractor, has been self-employed since, well, time began, it seems. Although I worked for a magazine when we married, I started freelancing once our first child was born. There was an unpredictability to it all, and surprisingly, all of us adjusted quite well.

    But times got a bit tough four or five years ago. The housing market bottomed out. I had stopped freelancing and had started working part-time in fitness and although I loved it, there was little money there. My husband’s mother died and he became primary caregiver for his father, who was deteriorating both physically and mentally. His business had to be put on a back burner. David, my husband, is a type 1 diabetic. Our insurance premiums probably could have paid for two mortgages. We lived off of our savings.

    But, at the same time, the Jesus stuff started happening…big time. everything was taken care off…just not in the way that we expected. Which is a good thing, if we want to put a label on it. Because I think when we are taken care of in completely unexpected ways, and we begin looking at it as coming from God, something both within and beyond ourselves, we start to grow trust, and we begin to experience this web of connection… this Love like a river that runs through it. We may disbelieve..or step back..but something deep inside has been ignited and we know, even in the midst of our doubt, that both ourselves and our lives are bigger and deeper than we ever imagined and that neither will ever be the same again.

    • Sean Reagan October 11, 2013, 5:27 pm

      Hey Cheryl . . .

      Thank you for sharing that. I love hearing those stories, people slowly accepting the will of God and the love of God . . . All provision is of God. I know this and I know this and still . . . I wander. That is what in the end always makes me smile: I know where home is, I know where safety lies, I know where the answer is given and still I stumble out into the cold blow and rainy night . . . So baby steps and faith then . . .

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