...You'll do best
by filling your minds and meditating
on things true, noble, reputable,
authentic, compelling, gracious—
-the best, not the worst;
the beautiful, not the ugly;
things to praise, not things to curse....
Do that, and God,
who makes everything work together,
will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
-Philippians 4:8, (The Message), Bible
The basil is fading. Each morning, before my 6:30 AM start to the deli, I ruthlessly pinch away the tips going to seed. Stay with me, stay with me, I plead with it. There are several more batches of pesto left in those stems, I just know it.
Philippians 4:8. I had to memorize that verse when I was in third grade. As a student at a private, Christian school, we were encouraged to stuff all the Bible verses we could into our brains, even though we had no idea what we were saying. I'm so thankful we did. These verses mean something to me now and come to me in snatches at the oddest of times, kind of like sudden sneezes or abruptly-remembered memories from a childhood holiday.
Think about the best, not the worst, I remind myself. The beautiful, not the ugly. Park your little mind in a space squeezed between wide loads of things to praise, not things to curse.
I found out today that my Grandmother - the one married to the Grandfather we lost last month - has cancer. Think about things to praise, not things to curse, I think to myself. God will make all this work together... He will work the high notes and these low notes into the most gorgeous of harmonies, and one day we will weep when the entire song of our lives is played.
I think that, and: Nevertheless...