A huge bucket truck backing up into the driveway of my residence at 7:30 AM. The tree company had arrived, here to chop down the huge maple, half perished, on the front lawn (did I mention, this tree is rooted directly outside the windows to my study, where I write all of my wedding ceremonies and, of course, this blog to you, dear reader?)
"Oh man! SMH... this is going to totally ruin everything I had planned today!" (did I also mention that today is my Sabbath? My day off from the world?)
I could have made that statement when the enormous truck made its way on to the lawn this morning, forcing me to close all my windows on a beautiful Spring day. I could have begun cursing and swearing... I could have gotten frustrated... I could have tried to *will* the people outside to 'go faster,' 'stop being so loud...' I could have done any of the myriad of things I used to do in my former living situation. I mean, after all, I have 2 wedding ceremonies to write, blogs to craft... any number of things to do that require concentration, peace and quiet. Don't they know that? Don't they care?
Instead, this morning, I chose peace. The very skilled workers from the tree company are merely doing their jobs (and frankly, in the past 6 hours since they began, they have performed feats of strength that have left me amazed) . I am simply going about my business. Instead of railing against what I cannot control, my husband and I stood at the window, watching the bucket truck rise to its desired height, the chainsaw beginning to expertly saw off branches. Christopher and I thanked the tree for the beauty and the life it brought to this place, during the time before us as well as the brief time we have lived here. We said small prayers for the wildlife, that the winged and four-footed ones would find new places to call home.
While this is the first I am sitting at my computer today for any length of time (and that could frustrate and annoy me), I still choose peace. I chose to cross off other things on my "To Do" list for the day, items which didn't necessarily include intense concentration and quiet surroundings. I chose to marvel at the workers, the skill they possess, the tools they use (they are grinding the stump down right now with what looks like a remote control toy - it is absolutely fascinating to watch). I chose to dive back into my ministry in a new and different way. Sure, it smells like a campfire outside. Sure, I still can't open the windows and let the fresh air in. Sure, it is noisy and loud and the ground beneath me is currently shaking. But there is a lesson to be learned in this moment, if I choose to recognize and honor it.
And I am choosing peace.
A mentor and teacher at Seminary, Rev. Allan Lokos, once said "Only *I* can destroy my peace, and I choose not to do so."
How can we, in every moment, in every breath, choose peace? How can we make the choice to be happy, to be peaceful, to be grateful?
The choice is yours.