Since August I have been volunteering as the chaplain intern at a retirement community and nursing home in the Middle Tennessee area. Over the months, I’ve spoken and prayed with many people as they’ve reflected on and — sometimes — mourned their journey through time. Over and over again — often through tears — I’ve witnessed people who regretted allowing the Alltag1 of life stand in the way of their experiencing God’s creation in its fullness.
If offer this; take time often to step out of your Alltag and reflect on where you’re at and where you’re going. Don’t put off that trip to visit a new place or experience a different culture. Plan, save, and make it happen. Rethink what’s important. Don’t let chores or your to-do list get in the way of taking a few hours on a Saturday to visit a Greek Festival. Eat at home a few extra nights a week so you can eat at the new Ethiopian restaurant across town. Step away completely from the stress of work for a long weekend — or more — and take a road trip to a different city.
In the midst of the many mourning souls in the nursing home, I’ve come across the few who lived. They reflect, but do not mourn. They recount the happiness of the life shared with others and bathed in the glories of God’s creation.
Strive to live a life like those people. Though they are now contrained to a small room in a grey wheelchair, the polish they collected over a life lived amongst and refined by God’s creation allows them to reflect God’s light into a sometimes dark place.