Missing the Forest for the Trees

I have thought about this phrase several times in the last week. The first time was as I was folding laundry and immediately started to gripe to myself about it. Then I considered the alternative: What if I didn't have anyone to wash clothes for? What if we didn't have too many clothes? What if they were all hospital gowns or sick robes? I began to consider that perhaps I'm missing the family and the blessings for the piles of dirty clothes and dirty dishes. I prayed that I may look at those minor tasks as part of a blessed life, and as a very small price to pay for living it.

Then today I realized that the current book I have been reading ("Secret Life of Bees") has gorgeous writing in it -- and I haven't been paying attention to it simply because I just want to know how the story ends! Some quotes I've loved:

"The month of August had turned into a griddle where the days just lay there and sizzled."

"In the photograph by my bed my mother is perpetually smiling on me. I guess I have forgiven us both, although sometimes in the night my dreams will take me back to the sadness, and I have to wake up and forgive us again."

And, because I love words of wisdom about dealing with people (thank you, Mike Riley), another favorite:
"I'd heard her say more than once, 'If you need something from somebody, always give that person a way to hand it to you.'"

These are all quotes from the last 20 pages. I missed all the other good quotes sprinkled throughout the book trying to find the ANSWER. I missed the good writing because I needed to know how it ended. Well, guess what, it's just like life -- it's not over because the main character is still alive.

I have always considered myself a patient person. Obviously, I have some none-too-stellar moments with my family, but I truly believed myself to be a patient person. I'm thinking now that I was wrong. I always want to be there -- where ever it is I'm going: the end of the book, the bottom of the pile of laundry, the next grade for my kids, a different stage of life. It occurred to me today that I'm missing the forest for the trees. Actually, I'm missing the trip. I've seen somewhere that one of the benefits to life on earth is that it includes a free trip around the sun every 365 days! I pray that I can learn to enjoy each step of the trip and to quit asking, "Am I there yet?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have to read it again! That's the way this book goes - it must be read twice. Maybe you should try "Angry Housewives Eating Bons-Bons" I've decided it too must be read again and soon.

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