Friday, September 25, 2020

Baba’s wind up alarm clock.

Written by  David Polzen

Lately my nights have been filled with restless sleeps as life’s things whirl about in my head:  balancing work and home/family, the endless list of to dos at both work and home, the usual stresses and demands that weigh upon us, the desperate yearning to laugh and not having anything to laugh at; the complications that Covid has placed on things at the Cathedral and at home as we follow protocols, guidelines, directives, and restrictions – life was seemingly complicated before Covid now it seems to have exponentially increased that complexity.  Even to run into the grocery store for a jug of milk has become quite a production.  Suppose that is all part of the Covid Fatigue that we are now hearing more and more about.  It is a full basket of things to ponder, sift through, discern, plan, and live.   

One night as I tossed and turned and watched the digital clock on my beside table announce hour after hour, off to the side of my night table my eye was drawn to the illuminated numbers and hands of my Baba’s wind up alarm clock glowing every so faintly in the night’s darkness.    Baba died this winter and for some odd reason I was drawn to ask if I could inherit this old wind up alarm clock that she had at her bedside.   I was graciously awarded this clock and it now sits at my bedside.   I think I only wound it up once and have since forgotten and have not taken the time to wind it.  But it was that clock that triggered a realization that yes life is complicated, yes there are demands, yes there are stresses, yes there are worries; BUT, there are also so many things to be grateful, that God’s graces have not ended or been suspended or canceled.  No, those continue to flow with great abundance.  I just have to take a moment, a split second even, to open the eyes of my heart to see them.  

A wise and holy spiritual director once gave me the exercise of pausing at the beginning of my day and at the end of the day and to think of one thing for which I am grateful.  It did not have to be a grand thing; but it could be the simplest thing.   At times it was something I took for granted.  How we can so easily miss these precious God given moments when we are so wound up in other things.  It is almost like cataracts that slowly impede our vision.  So once again I have taken up that simple little exercise of pausing ever so briefly to notice God’s hand at work and to give thanks.  To give thanks for the great things as well as the simple and mundane; to see God in all things and to know God’s presence in all things and at all times.  So I pause, take a deep breath, and offer thanks for:  the glorious sunrise; solitaire;  the breathtaking beautiful color display of nature along the river; the tv remote control; a text message from a friend not heard from for some time; a new pastor (and boss); a chocolate bar; cozy blanket; cookies; geese flying in formation; tooth paste; time spent with a loved one; comfortable shoes; a smile and hello from a stranger; fresh towels; cake; lady bugs; a good book; the guy walking a new puppy; fresh laundered bed linens; warm showers; Fridays; Sundays; Tuesdays;  toilet paper; and of course, Baba’s wind up alarm clock glowing in the darkness. 

   

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