It's sad, really--my inability to post on a regualr basis. Regrettably, the marvelous journey of the magical, banana-eating panda has not yet been completed, but please--do stay tuned. I'm sittin' on a gem here with this one, folks. It'll be worth the wait.
In the meantime, my thoughts have drifted elsewhere.
This weekend marked my one year since I graduated from college. As I still consider myself a freshly hatched post-graduate something-or-other, I feel that i must reflect upon my forays into the adult world, which have produced many challenges, responsibilties, changes, and a host of other things I never quite expected.
The one challenge that is proving to be the most difficult, however, is learning how to be joyful in my daily life.
And I'm talking real joy. Not the grumbling and the griping and the occasional gasps of frustration that can be often heard from my corner of the office on a particular day.
No, I mean the joy that comes from the freedom of offering up your day with all of its inconveniences and sanctifying your work for the glory of God.
I used to think of saints in terms of all the great, heroic things they would do for God--martyrdom at the hands of persecutors, following His call into unknown lands to preach the Gospel, abadoning all comfort and familiarity for His sake, all the while leaving behind inspiring words of wisdom, penance, and prophesy for future generations to live by.
I realize now as an adult that these things are not the only requirements for sainthood. That being said, I truly admire those people who can live their lives with joy. Those people who, when faced with a frustrating person, react with patience and love and do not speak about him behind his back. Those people who, even when sick, radiate a calm happiness in the realization that this is the state God has allowed for them at that time.
I was stuck in traffic one time after a particularly grueling day. I was sitting there, nearly to the point of tears, not moving and wanting more than anything to just get home. I cannot describe my frustration and what seemed like hopelessness of the situation. And then I saw the moon.
That lovely, white orb was just ascending into the dusky crown of evening, beckoning me to persevere. I was so struck by its otherwordly beauty, that I couldn't help but feel better.
It sounds slightly dramatic, I know, but I realized then that God puts beautiful things in our paths to alleviate the drudgery, to make us forget the weariness we might be experiencing, even if it is just for a moment.
I once read that the sign of an immature man is one who says he is willing to die for something and the true test of manhood is whether a man can live for something or not. As I get older and life progresses along the inevitable path of difficulty, I now see the true challenge of living a life according to God's will; namely, to accept what He gives me with joy and happiness because it is what He intends. That is the truest test of maturity.
And then I realize, how much happier would life be if my own grumpiness and ingratitude did not get in the way.
So now, as I lay here, I take comfort in knowing that beyond my frail and pallid earthly existence, something much greater than my feeble mind could ever fathom awaits. Perhaps that is why God gives us the moon every evening.