May 24, 2018

Pastoral Nuggets: Lucy

Brother-Aaron-236x300Today, I want to start this Pastor’s Column with an excerpt from the book: “All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” – by Robert Fulgham.

“Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school. These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess.  Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush.  Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup – they all die. So do we. And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK.  Everything you need to know is in there somewhere – The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation Ecology and politics and sane living. Think of what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about 3 o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes. And it is still true; no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”

I want you to re-read a small portion of what Robert Fulghum said, “Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup – they all die. So do we.”

The most sobering thought in all of life is that we do NOT have and infinite amount of time – we have a very finite amount! Lately, I have been poignantly reminded of this fact by, of all things, my dog, Lucy.  She came into mine and Marianne’s lives about seven years ago. She blessed us with two dog children, Blaze and Sweet Pea. They became family. Even our children joke about their dog brother and sisters. Sadly, Lucy has been diagnosed with cancer and is in the waning days of her life. Soon, we’ll have to have her humanely put down to relieve her of her suffering. Funny, I never thought I would feel this way about a dog – but I do.

As I pondered what Lucy has taught us, I realized there are some Spiritual lessons all of us can learn from her. Think of what a better world this would be if we, each of us, learned to act a little more like Lucy. We would model unconditional love toward each other – loving each other just because we exist – period. We would model excitement at the prospect of being with each other. We would model forgiveness – no matter how grievous and hurtful the infraction against us – and we would learn to forget the past and “live in the moment.” Carpe Diem: Seize the Day. We would model interest in the lives of others, placing their interest above our own.  We would learn to model trust – just to name a few of the lessons she taught us!

I close this column today with an observation & confession: I wish I was the husband my wife thinks I am, the father my children and grandchildren think I am, the brother my sister and brothers think I am, and the person others think I am. I am not there yet. I have not arrived. Hopefully, with your prayers and  help, God will get me there. You know, I just wish I was the man Lucy thinks I am!

“Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup – they all die.  So do we.”

 

Brother Aaron

 

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