CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from the Heart of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©
Once, when I still had a job, I felt overwhelmed. Well, it happened a lot more than just once, but there was this one time when I felt like there was a big old heavy bag of stuff on my back. It weighed me down. I couldn’t take even one step without that bag bouncing on my back and giving me a whap. I was really tired of that bag and its weight.
I decided I had to lighten that bag.
The first thing to do when you feel overwhelmed, of course, is to make lists, so I did. I made a list of every item I would take out of that heavy bag that bounced on my bag with every step, every item I would toss into the ditch to lighten my load. I showed the list to my wife.
“Do you realize,” she said, “that everything on this list is something that feeds you?”
I grabbed the list back and took a long look at it. She was right. I was going to toss all the toys and candy bars and keep all the anvils and horse carcasses. Worst of all, I was going to get rid of all the people I wanted to spend time with and keep all those I spent time with because I had no choice.
When you are working--unless you are a soldier or police officer or lawyer or radio talk show host or billionaire or president or billionaire president--you have to be nice to everyone. One of the best things about old age is that we get a chance to pick our friends, spend time with those we want to rather than those we have to, spend time with those who feed us.
We get to choose to whom we are nice. We don’t get to choose, however, to be nasty, to anyone. But it’s okay to stay away from the nasties. It’s okay to make that choice.
I tweet as yooper1721.
The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP], where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.] We no longer live in the land of perpetual winter, but I am in the winter of my years, so I think it’s okay to use that phrase. I don’t know why I put that © on; it’s hardly necessary.