Posted by: mikenicholsblog | October 20, 2016

a berry good reminder

Some stories repeat themselves over and over, year after year. One of the most repetitive dramas for all of us is often tied to the moments of non-stop activity and corresponding energy drain. This week feels very similar to my fast-paced story of two years ago. I needed the same reminder today that God me gave back then … maybe you do too.  I hope you will take the words to heart!

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 ever heard the metaphor of the hamster on the spinning wheel?!  Well, I was living it last week.  I believe this story gifts a cause for reflection when you’re having one of those weeks.

In the book The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning, there is a humorous, yet thought-provoking story about a 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. He spotted a rope dangling over the edge of the cliff, 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.

At this very moment, you may have regrets or fears from the past week, and/or an anxiety about the future.  I wonder if you feel like a hamster on a wheel or a monk clinging to the side of a cliff. After reflecting on the story, I was reminded that we only are guaranteed this moment.  And giving that moment – the only thing we really have – away is foolish. Stop with me, in this very moment, and consider a verse in the book of Psalms.  This specific verse has been especially meaningful to me personally, and speaks directly to 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 (and later today) can never be retrieved. Wisdom available from God can help us to 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.  They were my strawberries!

You cannot re-live yesterday or control tomorrow, but opening your eyes and heart to a strawberry in this moment can turn one of those weeks into a reason to smile.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: