This week I was asked an interesting question. Noting that my husband gets to go back to school I was asked, "what do you get out of it?" Honestly I was momentarily stunned by the question. I simply do not think in those terms. What do I get? I have been home for 17 years raising my children, drinking coffee with friends, spending my days at zoos, museums, pools, teaching, playing, learning, growing. I have been free while my husband has been tied to a desk, a hammer and demanding clients. The question is not what do I get but what can I give? How can I not give my husband 6 years of my life when he has given me 17 years?
There is a lot of danger thinking in terms of "what do I get" as we proceed through life because we will never get what we think we deserve and will never be fully satisfied. When you think about yourself and what you can get you sometimes miss seeing what you actually have. Life is filled with blessings. Everyday all around us. We can choose to see them or ignore them but they are there.
Too much focus on myself and my needs, trying to be sure I get something from all I do and give has never brought me peace or joy in my life. Instead it has brought disappointment and frustration. Only when I trust God to care for me and turn my focus to serving Him has my cup been full and my joy made complete.
So what I "get" out of John going back to school is far more than I am giving. I "get" the joy of serving the Lord and the privilege of experiencing His care for me while I work.
What more could I want?
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.--St Francis