I’ve been practicing what I call The Delight of the Day. Each day I watch for moments that inspire a strong feeling of gratitude and joy within me. I mentally label the strongest such moment The Delight of the Day. The practice encourages what psychologists call “positive scanning.” I’m waiting for good things to happen and, when they do, I notice and celebrate them.
A week ago, I toured a church built in 1912. That’s old around here. The stained glass was lovely. The dark wood beams and pews had soaked up generations of prayers. The tall wooden kitchen cabinets had witnessed preparation for hundreds of receptions for baptisms and funerals. I was there for a meeting to talk about merging the congregation and selling the building. Currently, about 30 people attend worship each Sunday and there is “money ‘til the end of the year.”
I’ve been reading E. Stanley Ott’s 12 Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church. In it, I found the phrase that titles this post and strikes me as a good general rule of life: honor the past, embrace the future.
Moving on includes sadness. It is sad to leave a beautiful building that has been host to so many faithful lives. It is sad to lose function in yet another part of my body as I age and my MS progresses. Friends move away. Children leave one stage of growth for another. Jobs dissolve. We grieve.
As we grieve, we honor what has been. We appreciate anew the stained glass and wood work. I read journals written by a right-hand that can no longer hold a pen. We remember late dinners, whole body giggles, work well done. All of it made more precious because it will not be again.
Then—deep breaths—we move forward into the unknown, holding in our hearts the promise that there will be joys ahead. We put one foot in front of another. Our arms are open wide and we’re not sure if we are feeling our way into the mists or readying ourselves to hug what comes. Let’s choose the embrace.
How might you honor the past and embrace the future in your life right now?
Here are my Delights for this week:
May you find delight in each day.