A Thousand and one Gifts : being thankful for the moment
Following in Dad’s footsteps, a lot of my time and energy as a youth was spent either playing or watching sports. Even now, as an almost pensioner, my darling Kathy and two boys will certainly attest to that continued enjoyment! Hockey, tennis, football, baseball, skiing, bicycling- you name it and I have likely followed it and participated in it. During my youth, my father and I enjoyed playing golf together, the camaraderie and enjoyment of the Lord’s creative skills being the attractions. But always the golf course beat us badly! After a few frustrating seasons and my dad losing the ability to play due to his fading health, I decided to hang up the clubs. But awhile ago, one of the volunteers at the CLC encouraged me to give golf another try and the bug bit!! Last year, we got out at least once every two weeks and had some great times trying to get that little white ball into the hole. While preparing for the 2017 golf season I read a book that emphasized ‘being in the moment’, forgetting the past shots and not worrying about the possible (in my case, probable) failure of the next one. The past cannot be changed and in a real sense, the future never comes. All I have is ‘now’! Not only is this one of my problems in golf, I realized that it is one of my problems in life. Way too much time is being spent worrying about the future, thinking through all sorts of scenarios, the vast majority which never come to pass. Too often, I am not capable of enjoying or being thankful for the moment. After a particularly good year at the CLC, rather than thanking the Lord and resting peacefully, my thoughts were already headed towards the challenges and concerns of the next year. Or while taking a walk by the shores of the St. Lawrence, my thoughts were solely concentrated on a recent disagreement with my son, rather than taking time to admire our Creator God’s intricate patterns forming on the ice next to the shore. Not that it is wrong to plan for the future or analyze past mistakes, but when they become the focus, we are really missing out on some precious possibilities that the present moment provides. Around the same time as the golf book was on the nightstand, and while browsing through an online copy of Christianity Today, an article taken from Ann Voskamp’s recent book ‘The Broken Way’ caught my attention. Wow! Good stuff! My heart was really touched and right away, I decided to give her first book another try. While ‘One Thousand Gifts’ was on the bestseller list a few years ago, I took it home one evening to see what this Canadian farmer with six children had to say. The next day, it was returned to the shelf at the CLC and another author was added to my ‘not to read’ list. But this second try was like finding gold! The Lord had prepared the way for this moment in my walk with Him, to confront a problem that was always there, but had never really come to my attention. But reading ‘Extraordinary Golf’ and ‘One thousand Gifts’, two books with somewhat the same message, but on totally unrelated subjects, has changed that. There is still a long way for me to go. But knowing that the problem exists is the vital first step towards resolution. Stay tuned!