Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

It Happens to the Best of Us July 19, 2014

It doesn’t happen often, but I’m man (er, I mean dog) enough to admit it when it does. Sometimes I’m wrong. There, I said it. And while I’m not entirely sure whether I’m wrong about this, I realized today that I could be. Giggles

I’ve never much cared for the phrase “what if.” What if I had more money? What if I could change the world? What if I had never found my forever people? To me, these two words pay homage to something for which I’ve never much cared. There is a negative, almost cynical tone to these questions that I can’t say I appreciate. It seems contradictory to my desire to live in the now and cherish the presence of presence.

But the more I watch dear baby Carter and his efforts to explore and understand the world around him, I realize I could be wrong. Today I observed as some of my favorite little people played and laughed and smiled together. Dear Sophie and Abigail and Sam all wrestling around with little Carter as he starts to figure out how to crawl. It was just as I had always hoped it would be.

In those moments, just after he froggie hopped his way across the room from Abby to Sophie and back again, I was reminded of everything he has in front of him. His life is literally full of “what ifs” right now. And there is nothing wrong with that. Not only that, but there’s something exciting, invigorating even, about it.

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible,” suggested Italian Catholic preacher Saint Francis of Assisi.

So I guess I might have been wrong about my perspective on this phrase all these years. Because ultimately that’s what it comes down to yet again. Perspective. From the ground up, it has a way of changing the glass from being half empty to being half full. It has a way of making us see what’s possible within the impossible.

 

In God’s Hands November 2, 2013

It’s normal for leaves to fall from the sky in my part of the world this time of year. Especially in my backyard paradise, where we have a few exceptionally large trees. As a result, a blanket of gold and orange currently coats the grass (or so my people tell me – it’s kind of tough for me to decipher these colors). But the leaves weren’t the only thing to fall from the sky today.

I was ruffling around in my backyard (aka leaf blanket) this morning when I got a surprise visit from two of my favorite little people and their parents. Apparently it wasn’t a surprise to my people, but they hadn’t said anything about Sophie and Sam coming by to spend the day with us. I suppose this may have been a proactive decision, as the mention of their names may have sent me into an excited panic until they arrived. But that’s neither here nor there.

Cuddles with SophieAfter their parents left, we sat together – Sam, Sophie, my dad, my mom and I – in the living room for a bit. (All right, more like cuddled. I nuzzled my way into Sophie’s lap pretty much the second she sat down). The television was turned to the local news station (where I’m proud to say my aunt works) and they were interviewing season 8 American Idol finalist Danny Gokey.

“God’s written a beautiful story for people,” he told the interviewer, “you just have to walk into it and embrace it.” I was touched by this idea, as I am a believer in embracing the good in all people, places, and things that make up my life story. But then she said it and my heart really turned to mush.

“When I was little,” nine-year-old Sophie said, “I used to think God had the world in His hands.” She was sure to clarify that now that she’s grown up she knows God isn’t actually floating in space holding the world in His hands, “but He’s still got us all taken care of.”

The leaves weren’t the only thing falling from the sky today. So was joy. From above. Wherever I looked, it seemed determined to find me in its varied poignant messages. God may not be physically holding the world from his perch in space, but He was certainly present in my mind today. As well as in my heart.