Seeing the Beauty and Goodness in Front of Us, Nouwen's reflection for today in his book Bread for the Journey:
WE DON'T HAVE to go far to find the treasure we are seeking. There is beauty and goodness right where we are. And only when we can see the beauty and goodness that are close by can we recognize beauty and goodness on our travels far and wide. There are trees and flowers to enjoy, paintings and sculptures to admire; most of all there are people who smile, play, and show kindness and gentleness. They are all around us, to be recognized as free gifts to receive in gratitude.
Our temptation is to collect all the beauty and goodness surrounding us as helpful information we can use for our projects. But then we cannot enjoy it, and we soon find that we need a vacation to restore ourselves. Let's try to see the beauty and goodness in front of us before we go elsewhere to look for it.
HAD A NICE LAZY TIME the last weekend. A really slow long one.
Had all kinds of meals - Chinese, Thai, Japanese... Walked along the Singapore river. Watched two movies, The Aviator and Finding Neverland. Ate Haagen Daaz ice-cream. Chit-chatted.
Then, it was time to fast for two meals. Comforted a distraught friend. Ash 'Friday' mass. Stations of the cross. Met a few neighbours. Had a lift home.
Next, a languid Saturday at home. Skipped an old friends' gathering. Attended mass in the evening with an old lady with a paralysed arm. A beautiful song, The Rose. Strolled home.
Finally, Sunday came. Woke up late. Cycled in the gym. Sat by the children's pool reading while the waters swished near and around. A little boy cycled past and fell stunned to the ground. Helped him to his feet. And he kept cycling past me over and over again. :-) Went up. Did some homework. Watched a little TV with Mum. Listened to Marty Haugen's Gift of God. Time to pray. And soon, it was bedtime.
Perhaps it all started with the retreat last December....