“Souls do not wish to be bullied, but gently brought back; such is the nature of man.”
–St. Francis de Sales
After carpool dropoff this morning, I made a trek to Northside Radiology. Being an expert, I had worn the sports bra and a pair of pants without a zipper. All this would save time and a little naked humiliation I reasoned as I carefully chose my wardrobe this morning. Once there, I shed all my gear that could possibly contain metal, and I found myself once again laying down on the X-ray table. As I did the “breathe in…now hold it” routine, I was pondering about how long the doctor’s appointment would last because after that I needed to get to the lab to draw 2 blood samples today for the endocrinologist, Dr. Baker. On my mind, too, were my in-laws and my own parents who have had more than their share of waiting rooms over the last year. I wish things had been easier for them all. It’s easy to take good health for granted.
The X-ray tech waved goodbye, and within just a few minutes I was inside the office of my urologist, Dr. Dave Hollensbe. The doc is a good Catholic guy and terrific at what he does. He has a dry and sarcastic sense of humor. Hollensbe strikes me as rather a smart ass, if I’m completely honest. Since most the men in my family share that trait, I feel right at home with him. I have gotten to know him better than many docs I’ve seen over the years because he’s performed 3 or 4 kidney stone procedures on me. I have a special gift for churning out stones. Try not to be too jealous.
We chatted and he gave me some input and a question to ask the other specialist when I see her next week. As we were finishing up the doctor said to me, “Are you okay? You seem agitated.”
The truth is I was agitated, and perhaps even a bit despondent. However, I was really surprised to be called out. I thought I was cloaking those feelings with cheerfulness pretty well. Clearly I was not. I could defend myself by giving you a few decent sounding reasons why I woke up on the wrong side of the pillow. I will spare you.
The truth is I should be living in joyful awareness of God–instead of dragging my cross behind me so everyone can choke on the dust.
Mother Teresa said this, “When I see someone sad I always think, she is refusing something to Jesus.” It was in giving Jesus whatever He asked that she found her deepest and lasting joy. She said, “Cheerfulness is a sign of a generous and mortified person who forgetting all things, even herself, tries to please God in all she does for souls…for God loves a cheerful giver.”
I want to live in joy. So rather than depending on something to change so that I can be joyful, I choose joy right now. Greeting others warmly, speaking encouragement and affirmation, my own joy will increase as I share positivity and focus on positivity. This is not new news. Oftentimes, I simply forget.
Have you ever read the book of Job? I hadn’t until this week. It’s worth a look if you aren’t familiar– or even if you are. This poor guy’s life went from incredibly abundant to complete depravity nearly overnight. He lost everyone and everything. Knowing his own righteousness, he cried out to God in long pathetic speeches. The Lord ultimately replied, “Will one who argues with the Almighty be corrected? Let him who would instruct God give answer!” The Lord seems to challenge Job to play God. When Job realizes what he has done and to whom he has been railing, he says to God, “I have spoken but did not understand; things too marvelous for me, which I did not know…therefore I disown what I have said and repent in dust and ashes.”
The message I hear is the one Mother Teresa shares which is: God loves us and wants us to trust His will for us will always be an expression of that perfect love, however impossible it is for us to comprehend His marvelous designs.
“Be glad in the Lord and rejoice.” (Ps 32:11).
Thanks, God, for gently bringing me back to reality today through the good Doc. I wasn’t giving the world my best this morning.
I am issuing a challenge to myself and to anyone else out there who might feel called. Do something today to share joy, INTENTIONALLY, with another. It’s an act that really is also a prayer– something beautiful for God. It’s really all between you and Him anyway. Then, repeat tomorrow.