(In 2014 I opened up a Word document, all blank and white, and I wrote the first thing that came to mind. From that, another thought linked. Pop, pop, pop, one after the other…and here they are…)
I’d like to be level, and centered, and steady, and honest about all the measurements.
Let me fit my britches, live within my means, float no airs.
I am no bigger, nor smaller, I just am, one life, planted in a crop of billions.
Where, I wonder, am I from my could-be? Am I a lake settling for pond, or a puddle trying to be an ocean and missing the point of puddleness?
Where, I wonder, is God, and where from There am I? Am I mapped, am I plugged, am I synched, am I qualified?
No more with fear. Fear is a lie.
No more with pride. Pride is a lie.
Let me be grateful in the gift of good moments. I won’t expect the same of myself in bad moments, but I’d like to see myself self-correct, be a cork fighting against the pull of minnows.
In the arm wrestling between doing and thinking, let me give each arm its moment, and so spare myself from mindless doing and thinking unto coma.
Let me be companioned though my day by my Father. Steer me through conscience and spirit. Shield me from the nonsense of noise and let me live my day with simplicity, clarity, and good acts sown by good intentions.
Let me do good, and failing that, at least let me do no harm.
Let me aspire to giving and not acquiring and let God take care of the daily bread.
Let me always remember that I am His gift to me. Let me be me. All, full, to the spine of me.
Eyes on high things, shielded from low things, purpose in steps, patience when it’s not fun, gratefulness when it is fun, living life wide or narrow, deep or shallow, each to its time, may it all add up to a life all lived, a person all been, His will done, His words, “Well done.”
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In 2018 I Found The Document Again …and I agreed with 2014 …and wondered what I’d add…
On those rare occasions where I am neither high nor low, but smooth, when I am filled with a saturating gratefulness for ever being alive, for still being alive, from sole of foot to soul of me, when I feel coated in humility, those moments are like a firefly lighting, and I think, ‘Oooh, this is it!’ and then the moment goes away…but at least I had it…and know where the arrow pointed.
Sometimes an old bad memory comes to mind. One morning, I woke myself up, hearing myself say, “I forgive me.” It’s not that easy, is it… Clean with the Big G, but my goodness, how to convince ourselves? Fuel in the tank for my daily goal – whatever you do, dude, do no harm.
Let me appreciate what I’ve attained by not attaining too much. By not having too much money I still enjoy the little moments, like finding a $20 in the pocket of a jacket I haven’t worn since last winter. By not having fame I have the great and wonderful gift of privacy. Every shortcut not taken is a gift of self respect.
Let me be an asker. I already know all I know, but in asking, I’m in school.
Let me be a listener. It is student, it is audience, it is deferential. It is respect.
Let me lean on life experience. Nip in bud. Turn of cheek. Count to 10, and then count some more. Water off duck’s back. This too shall pass. Nothing new under the sun. Self reliance. Cut losses, eat crow, get it over with. Trust neither black nor white, but where they meet, in the gray.
I’m never gonna climb Everest, but that’ll be alright, if I turn out to be someone brave enough to think for myself.
Let me be easy: to be around; work with; deal with.
Let me share. A funnel holds more than a clenched fist.
Let me be grateful for the whole of my life. The good, the bad, the timing, the people and places, even the misses and messes. In their particulars they are the ingredients of the gumbo of me.
One last word of advice for myself: pray.
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This edition of Uncle P’s Bedtime Stories is brought to you by Eighty-one, where we think there is no Best You until there is a Real You.
Other Bedtime Stories can be found on the Eighty-one Facebook page. Uncle P can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.