Thursday, October 03, 2013

Nobody has the right to be this happy

Have you ever had one of those days when you can't believe how fortunate you are? I get together with a small group on Fridays, and we tell each other what God has done, as Psalm 16:23-24 says. At one of these gatherings, I told my friends it's easy for me to love God because he is so good to me.

Tuesday morning started early—earlier than expected, because I had trouble sleeping, worrying uselessly about something or another. Happily, I found this beautiful passage from Merton's No Man Is an Island:

All nature is meant to make us think of paradise. Woods, fields, valleys, hills, the rivers and the sea, the clouds traveling across the sky, light and darkness, sun and stars, remind us that the world was first created as a paradise for the first Adam…. Heaven is even now mirrored in created things. All God's creatures invite us to forget our vain cares and enter into our own hearts, which God Himself has made to be His paradise and our own. If we have God dwelling within us, making our souls His paradise, then the world around us can also become for us what it was meant to be for Adam—his paradise. But if we seek paradise outside ourselves, we cannot have paradise in our hearts.
chapter 6 (Asceticism and Sacrifice) 15 (p. 115)
I went back to sleep with the thought that God is working to make my heart a paradise, for him and for me.

A few hours later I rose for a prayer meeting at church. They even provided coffee! It was a sweet time of fellowship, talking and praying with men and women who so love the church[audio].

After the prayer and fellowship, I drove my '86 Corolla (which still runs great!) to a side street, then ran like heck to catch the just-arriving Caltrain. Little did I know that my younger daughter had seen me running, and was leaving a note for me even as I rode the train—yes, I made it!

At work, I was putting a few finishing touches on a project when the boss cropped by my cubicle. She was happy about my results (we'd had a phone conference with India the night before) and stopped by to congratulate me on well-done job. That's not an everyday occurrence! The other thing was, she asked me how I would feel about working on a certain other project—something I'd mentioned before as an area I'd like to focus. So "I'd love to!" was no surprise.

At lunch, I went for a walk around the block, a little over a mile, and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

I had another chat with the boss after lunch, where she went further and told me to go ahead and spend some time on that new project, managing my time with the other two things I'm working on. She also indicated that there were things I could do that would gain "points" and that would be interesting (if not as much fun as actually writing code) and not all that difficult. I spent the rest of the day working on some code, which as usual put me in a good mood.

Walking out to catch the light rail, I pulled out my phone and called Peet's, because I had coffee duty for the evening meeting at church. The barista/manager said they'd start on those right away; it had been a hectic day, she said. I told her I'd be by just about six (i.e., about 10 minutes later than the "reservation" time) so no need to rush. I congratulated myself for remembering to call ahead.

Returning to my car in Menlo Park, I found the note Sheri had left for me. My heart overflowed with thankfulness. It occurred to me that we can bring joy to God's heart by expressing our love to him.

Dinner was served at our meeting, which is always nice; the meeting itself started with Scripture, a little sharing of things we were thankful for, and prayer. (I didn't say anything because once I started I might have taken the whole time.) There were some significant issues, but I enjoyed the blessings of fellowship and the presence of God's Spirit as we thought and discussed together.

Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
    proclaim his salvation day after day. 
Declare his glory among the nations, 
     his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
Psalm 16:23-24

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