Posted by: genelnicholsblog | October 23, 2014

one of those weeks

Last week was one of those weeks.  Everything hit at once.  Everything had a deadline.  Every day was full and every evening was spoken for.   Have you heard the metaphor of the hamster on the spinning wheel?  Well, I was living it last week.  On the assumption that you sometimes get caught in one of those weeks, I thought this story would give you cause for reflection.

In the book, The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning, there is a humorous, yet thought-provoking story about the monk who was chased by a tiger.

The monk raced to the edge of a cliff, glanced back, and saw the growling tiger about to spring. The monk spotted a rope dangling over the edge of the cliff. He grabbed it and began shimmying down the side of the cliff out of the clutches of the tiger. Whew! Narrow escape. The monk then looked down and saw a quarry of jagged rocks five hundred feet below. He looked up and saw the tiger poised atop the cliff with bared claws. Just then, two mice began to nibble at the rope. What to do?

The monk saw a strawberry within arm’s reach, growing out of the face of the cliff. He plucked it, ate it, and exclaimed, “Yum! That’s the best strawberry I’ve ever tasted in my entire life.” If he had been preoccupied with the rock below (the future) or the tiger above (the past), he would have missed the strawberry God was giving him in the present moment.

In this very moment, you may have regrets or fears from the past week, and anxiety about the future.  I wonder if it all feels like a spirited run on the hamster wheel. After reflecting on the tiger and the monk, I am reminded that we only are guaranteed this moment and to give it away is foolish. Stop with me in this very moment and consider a verse in the book of Psalms which has been especially meaningful to me personally, and speaks directly into this very real battle:

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 (NLT)

What you and I miss in our preoccupation with yesterday and tomorrow can never be retrieved. Wisdom available from God can help us live in the moment, and realize how brief our lives really are.

Those who get lost in one of those weeks need to look away from their tiger and jagged rocks. I am sure you can relate. Moments matter! The end of my week brought great blessings through some unexpected people and events – in abundance beyond any expectation I harbored … my strawberries!   Strawberries may not be in season for you and me right now, but what is stopping us from having some strawberry moments? I have no idea what you are facing, but I’m sure if you slow down and start looking for God’s strawberries, you can begin to enjoy each moment. You can’t re-live yesterday or control tomorrow, but finding the strawberry in this moment can turn one of those weeks into a reason to smile.


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