May 20, 2011

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Inspirational words often bolster our lives of faith

Shirley Vogler MeisterNo matter when I have been distressed to distraction, at some point I perk up—not through my own strength, but through prayer and the grace of God. Often, I cannot “see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Some readers might scoff when I say that I find peace in some of the smallest things—comforting a cat or carrying an indoor spider outdoors or seeing the first dandelions sprouting despite having the yard treated to prevent their growth.

From my computer, I can view my neighbor Frank’s beautifully groomed backyard. His star magnolias took my breath away each morning as I captured the beauty in my mind for future recall. I call every squirrel “my favorite squirrel,” and I make sure the bird feeder and birdbath are clean.

Perhaps most readers will not get past the first or second paragraph of this column because my ideas seem mundane. However, I believe nothing is mundane, and even the littlest things in life are important.

Recently, I read something by Nancye Sims at her website, www.nancye, that touched me. I share her “creed” that is part of her “Inspired by God” website here:

“Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special. … Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them life is meaningless.

“Don’t let life slip through your fingers by living in the past or in the future. By living one day at a time, you live all the days of your life. Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying. Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is the fragile thread that binds us to each other.

“Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. … Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it is impossible to find. … The fastest way to lose love is to hold to it tightly, and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

“Don’t dismiss your dreams. To be without dreams is to be without hope, to be without hope is to be without purpose.

“Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you have been, but also where you are going. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.”

As Catholics, we live by the commandments and through the wisdom of our Catholic faith. However, sometimes we do this so routinely that we miss what others have to offer that will enrich our lives.

Sims reminds me to look at my life in many ways that enrich the years ahead of me.

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)

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