Gratitude Journal – Prompt #10

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30 Days of GratitudeWhat taste are you grateful for today?

I feel inclined to use a metaphor for Day #10 in the 30 Days of Gratitude  prompts. The word “taste” implies the flavor of something perceived by the mouth or tongue (i.e.taste buds.) 

However, after carefully tracking Hurricane Matthew for several days and hearing that my family in Florida came through safely and with minimal damage, I’m grateful for the “taste of good luck.”

Is there such a thing? I’ve heard of the taste of success, so why not?

Many people rely on religion and prayer in the hope of achieving a desired result. Faith offers strength and sustenance to those who believe that all things happen for a reason. However, after reading When Bad Things Happen To Good People my views changed a bit. 

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This book was written in 1981 by the Conservative rabbi Harold Kushner and dedicated to his young son who died from progeria, an incurable genetic disease. In this book Kushner addresses the conundrum of why an omnipotent and loving God allows so much suffering in the world, particularly by good and decent people.

His answer to this philosophical question is that God does his best and is with us through our suffering, but isn’t fully able to prevent it. 

And that’s where luck comes in.


Now, I realize that many people of faith won’t accept this analysis. But, it brought great comfort to me in 1983, at a time when I doubted God’s love. Yes, the book questions his omnipotence, but offers an explanation that makes total sense to me. In exchange for absolute control, he offers us free will, to make wise choices and repudiate sin. And sometimes, bad things are simply random events that do happen to good people.

God doesn’t pass out x number of malignant tumors each month or hand pick certain children to die in a bus crash, while others survive. He waits alongside us, to support and lift us in our times of grief and despair. That’s a God I can believe in.

While I’m grateful that my own family came through safely, my heart aches for the people in Haiti and the other Caribbean countries. They live in poverty on their best days. The devastation that they’re facing is unimaginable and the death toll is over 300. Here in the States, 32 people died and property damage is estimated at $6 billion.

In an effort to show my gratitude for the minimal effects Hurricane Matthew had on my loved ones, I’m going to donate something for those suffering the greatest. I can’t give as much as some people, but I can give something

Let’s all think about what taste we’re grateful for today and if you’d like to help the victims of Hurricane Matthew, you can donate here.

Carpe diem!


 

 

 

 

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Waiting for Matthew

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Hurricane Matthew: October 5, 2016


A hurricane doesn’t look too ominous from a satellite; just a wispy, white circular pattern floating silently on the blue waters. 

But, if you get up close and personal with a hurricane, it’s a whole different story. We know the kind of devastation these tropical storms can bring to anyone and anything unfortunate enough to be in its path.

And in Matthew’s path are millions of people, including my son, his wife, and my daughter. Of course, they’ve taken the necessary precautions. My son and daughter-in-law are residents of Cocoa Beach and were evacuated yesterday. Living on barrier islands prompted them to move everything from their first floor to the second floor. They’re waiting out the storm near Orlando with their three cats in a pet-friendly hotel, worried that they won’t have a home to return to. 

 

My daughter was invited to ride out the storm at a coworker’s house. At first she wanted to stay at her studio apartment and I initially agreed. However, as the reports on the impending storm grew increasingly more serious, I advised her to go to her friend’s house. Strength and safety in numbers; I didn’t want her to be alone. When I spoke with her earlier this evening, she was grateful not to be alone.

We make so many choices, large and small, inside of a single day. Our goal is to maintain control over the circumstances of our lives. Do we wear a seatbelt, take the vitamins, accept that job offer? Whether to be healthy and make “safe” decisions that will have a positive impact on our lives. Or, whether to engage in risky behavior that could have detrimental effects. 

At first glance it appears that we have a lot of control. And yet, there’s much that we can’t control or predict. 

Right now I want desperately to be with my family in Florida. I want to assure my frightened daughter that she is safe and will be okay. I want to allay my son’s fears about his home and help him feel hopeful that maybe the damage won’t be as bad as he’s expecting. I want to make this hurricane turn back out to sea, so it can’t hurt anymore people or cause more destruction.

While I have no control over any of this, I can control how I deal with it and how I help my loved ones deal with it. As long as they are safe, we’ll manage the rest together.