|Speed-reading “just this one.”|
|Jake, the Collie, finds a spot to rest his weary head.|
I finally started a massive project —getting rid of all the books from my second-hand books business which I had for a couple of intensive years, and a couple of desultory years.
Progress, as you can see, was slow.
* * *
But internally, where all that really matters happens, progress has been made.
I’ve worked for 4 days like a Benedictine, balancing ora et labora, work and prayer, thought and creativity.
I’ve always been enamoured by the Benedictine ideal of balance–especially when it’s theoretical. When one actually has to do it: BAH-humbug, the Labora part is highly overrated!! I said to my soul in disgust.
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Of course, I didn’t really need to do this. But you see, during the years of the business, I came across so many lovely art books, gardening books, Christian books, nature, photography, history, biography, literature, poetry and children’s books, which I would have loved to keep. And so many that I did not want to keep. So I needed to sort them, keepers, givers-away to prevent myself drowning in books.
And I was feeling grumpy sorting through these boxes, givers/keepers because you see what I really want to do is pray, read and contemplate scripture, blog, write, garden, and run. Not sort books.
Then I read this blog by Michael Hyatt which says your mental state and attitude are highly dependent on the language you use. Don’t say “I have to,” Hyatt advises; say, “I get to.”
And so I said to myself, with great truth,
I get to sort through 240 boxes of 50 books each, books I have already sifted and discarded the junk from, and keep whatever I want! How great the love the Father hath given that I get to keep the best of 240 boxes of art, poetry, literature, Christian, nature, history, biography, gardening, children’s books, travel and photography books.
And I immediately felt happier.
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Whatever dark or desperate situations you face, there is almost surely a silver lining in them because of the goodness of God. Something positive in them. Search it out. Thank God for it.
And as surely as dawn follows the night, your emotional state will begin to change. It will mirror your honest thanksgiving. You will feel happier.