September 21, 2016: Don’t miss life’s surprises

~by Louis Templeman

As I held my cat up to my distracted buddy, he finally realized there was a cat on the porch. He had not noticed until then that my rather affectionate pet was craving his attention. The cat was giving a clear message but he was deaf to it. By picking up my cat and holding it before his face his bubble of distraction burst and he was able to see this little 4-legged emissary of love was wanting to interact with the give and take of affection.

It is easy to sleep-walk through the day and not notice what is all around us. It is easy to be blind to beauty. It is easy to forget and not enjoy the magic of our daily existence. When we are like that we are not fully alive. Sleeping walking can make us act like numb skulls and we will lose all sense of surprise. There is a Bible story about the prophet Elijah being led by angels to find the presence of God in a mountain solitude. While waiting for God’s presence there came a wind, a storm and earthquake. Normally such as that could be considered surprising. But, not the surprise Elijah was waiting for.

Eventually, there came a gentle breeze and on its pleasant coolness the still small voice of God. This was the surprise he was waiting for. Anyone else would have missed it. Elijah was not sleep walking with a mind full of distracted thinking. He was able to see and hear what is so present and yet so easy to miss. By losing our awareness of beauty and the daily surprise of life we can quickly become cynical, skeptical, doubtful; one who scoffs the promises of God.

Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. Isaiah 55: 3

How long must I remain in jeopardy of blank amazement and amaze no more. John Keats

Surprised by love, surprised by beauty; surprised by affection, Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote, Only beauty will save the world.

And so, only by waking up and becoming aware of the life teeming all around us can we save our souls.

He who knows the joy as it flies lives in eternity’s sunrise. William Blake.



Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D. Louis has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is fighting the good fight. Much of what he writes these days he is sharing his journey with us. Please keep Louis and his wife Joy in your prayers.

CLICK HERE to visit Louis’ Catholic Journeyman Archive

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