It had been a day filled with the usual “to-do’s” plus oil changes and winterizing for both vehicles, flu shots for both of us, and cooking a big pot of chili. After dinner, I was tired. We and the dogs retired to the basement man cave to watch a Friday night movie.
Heathcliff pestered me, pacing and panting, wanting something, maybe relief from pain due surgery on his right cruciate ligament ten days prior. I walked him, gave him medication (as needed), then comforted him. As soon as I stopped, he continued his pacing and panting.
I walked and comforted him again. And again. “Nothing I’m doing is helping,” I complained.
Both dogs became agitated. Keith said something like, “Your upset is upsetting the dogs,” which was the truth. Unwelcome but true all the same.
I sat and sulked then asked myself questions. What if you owned your failure? What if you stopped thinking about your to-do list and let go of routine? What if you asked God not what or how but why?
My friend Sarah, who writes The Noontimes, gave me a lovely journal this summer when I visited her. The journal’s cover is embossed with the image of a tree and scripture: Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly. Proverbs 3:18
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been reading and journaling my way through Casey Tygrett’s Becoming Curious: A Spiritual Practice of Asking Questions. It seemed appropriate to start the “wisdom” journal with questions. After all, Jesus asked lots of questions.
“The great grace of curiosity is that it allows us to enter difficult and unsteady rooms of life and find the centering, peaceful presence of Jesus inviting us to come deeper still,” Tygrett wrote. “Is there a way to move through change, loss, and pain with our souls intact? What tools, guidance, or insights on how to journey joyfully through change do we find in Jesus? What if, in fact, dying is not only the point, but it is truly the way to live?” (153)
Change. Crucifixion, resurrection, ascension. A gentle form of dying so something deeper and stronger can rise in us.
Last Friday night, I mulled over the questions I’d journaled about change. I quieted, and so did the dogs. Then Keith and I watched our movie in peace.