Thursday, September 23, 2010

Finding Joy

By Keith N Fisher

A lot has happened during the past week. I wanted to write about the disaster of a wildfire that happened near my home, but I found another subject. Well, I’ll get back to that in a second, but first, yes, the National Guard started it. Yes, they should be responsible, but those houses border wild land.

Its tragic to lose your memories and your property to fire. I join in mourning for the loss, but I want to express something not mentioned on the local news.

Most of us only dream of owning a home where we could step outside our back door and be in wild spaces. The homes that burned down were like that. When your property borders public land you run a risk. Wild fires are bound to happen, especially in an arid state. You can’t make me believe the possibility never crossed the minds of those homeowners.

The story of a wildfire coming over the hill, and threatening a whole town, is spectacular news. Our media sources are going to talk about it, and they are bound to search for different angles to tell the story. We can let ourselves be sucked into the junk or not. Our government has admitted responsibility. It’s time to move on.

As for the homeowners let me offer my condolences, but please remember you had to know there was a danger. I live on top of an earthquake fault. My friends live in a flood plain. Others live next to dangerous roads. We take the risks, but if our homes are destroyed by a natural disaster, who are we going to sue, God?

I know it sounds harsh in light of the loss of personal possessions, but if that fire was the result of a lightening strike . . . well, you get the picture. It is a tragedy for which, you have my sympathy.

On another subject, I found a brief moment of joy this week that I can’t talk about. It’s personal for me and for those who shared it with me. I had been feeling down, and I stepped out of my comfort zone to help another human. As promised in the scriptures that they would be, the results were a blessing to me.

Later, I pulled into a parking lot and noticed two guys tipping a motorcycle back up onto its wheels. A small truck stood by with the tailgate open. I felt the urge to offer help.

With a huge puddle of oil on the ground it was obvious that bike wasn’t going anywhere under its own power so I offered to help them get it into the truck. I found out one the guys had been in a bike wreck earlier that day, so I helped the other guy lift the bike into the truck.

I felt great and I reaped the rewards of being of service. I walked back to my truck with a warm feeling in my heart, and looked around. There were dozens of unhappy people looking on, hanging on the fringe of helpfulness. I felt sorry for them.

Many of us muddle through our lives, wishing for this or that, mostly complaining about the cards we were dealt. We tend to watch our fellow beings with a blind eye, oblivious to the opportunities for true joy and happiness. The chances to help others are all around us, and I, for one, need to stop fretting about misfortune and take the opportunity.

In teaching the parable of the Sheep and Goats, Jesus said, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. I learned many lessons this week. Now, if only I can remember to apply them.

God, please, grant me the serenity to accept the one I cannot change.
Courage the change the one I can,
and wisdom, always, to know it's me.

I wish you, Joy and Peace.


L.T. Elliot said...

Service always gladdens my heart. Sometimes, I think it's the only thing that really can pierce a hardship--to serve someone else.

Anonymous said...

I love your take on the serenity prayer. I'm going to try to remember it!