One of my favorite children’s books called “Something from Nothing” uses the repeating phrase “its time to throw it out.” I am reminded of that as I consider the green fruit on my counter. However I’m having such a hard time throwing it out. Through that still good looking watermelon I am being forced to confess to myself that I have a problem and its called superstition. I am not okay with this, but its real.
The watermelon came to our home the long weekend in August when my friend Deb visited from Saskatoon. Laden with treats and supplies she blew in with the summer wind, that watermelon in her hands. Morgan and I are the only people at our place that really like watermelon, so, I was waiting for the right time to cut it up, until there were a few more watermelon lovers around. The dumb thing is I didn’t put it in the fridge. Well, the right time to cut it never came and there it sat. I didn’t have the resolve to throw it out when 10 days had gone by and its fresh time had passed. And it sat. I noticed it was a great place to kill flies, it attracted some and was a firm backdrop for the swatter to do its work. It was earning its keep. By the end of August I was ready to say that overall our crew was doing better. We had been able to figure out our feed crisis, there had been some rain, we had some fun. I couldn’t help but think that it seemed that ever since that watermelon arrived in our life everything felt better. So I looked at that watermelon and thought, “can I throw it out?” And my immediate reaction was “no, not going to do that.” With a few things coming up that I am nervous about I really and truly am having a hard time throwing out that watermelon. That is the dumbest thing I ever heard. But its not the only thing I am superstitious about. I have had pedicures on my feet about four times in the last 15 years. The first and fourth times were followed by events that were extremely hard. So…………although I have a gift certificate to get a pedicure, I am waiting until I have a window where I can risk whatever may follow.
These thoughts and actions, or lack of actions, do not line up with what is at my core. I believe in God. I believe that no matter what life throws at me, God is with me. I don’t believe that there is a force for chaos that can be held at bay by the presence of a watermelon or turning down pretty toe nails. I think that what all this reveals is that I am feeling pretty vulnerable. I am so incredibly thankful for the events that go right, where hope is allowed to flicker and shine. I don’t want those moments where things are right and where hope is brewing to come to an end, so, I am turning to the concrete things that are in my power to hold the ship steady. I mistakenly think that is the presence of a large green mass on my counter, (that is likely rotting on the inside.) That leads to a good concrete question, what is within my power for holding the ship steady? For keeping good momentum going?
My life experience tells me that not much can control the cirumstances so that trouble never comes, but somehow the negative impact of troubling times is reduced by a couple things and these I should stay focused on. One is gratitude and the other is love. There is a part of the Bible that I have found both inspiring and challenging, it advises, “give thanks in all circumstances.” The older I get the more I agree with that. The other thing in the Bible is “love your neighbor”. If I keep showing up and loving as best as I can I will likely have much more influence on my life experiences than I will by making that watermelon on my counter a priority decor item.
Four more sentences that go another level deeper with all this. When Russ and I talked about this post he challenged me, “How important is it to be freed from trouble?” His point, that alot of good things come from hard things and hard times. We appreciate the good times better because of the hard times. I think he is absolutely right, but, still a bit shell shocked from the challenges of the last months and years I will not be looking for any trouble anytime soon. However somehow I have to muster the wisdom and maturity to throw out my watermelon. Maybe tomorrow. Until then I commit to showing up, loving my neighbor and saying thank-you.