A Little Blue Flower

One of the things I do to make a little side money is collect scrap metal from the neighborhoods around me.  I started doing this years ago when I started my business of repairing industrial cleaning machines.  Working on machines, as well as buying and selling them, creates a pile of broken metal parts.  With the  prices for old metal down, I advertize in local media in order to enhance the load of scrap I have and make the trip worthwhile.

I have to say it’s an interesting hustle. I have had people give me the most odd and strange things, as well as stuff I would never have expected to get.  One man, upon my arrival and subsequent loading of my trailer, brought a Lincoln Electric Wire Welder out and placed it at my feet.

“You want this?

“You don’t?”  I was flabbergasted.  It was in very nice condition.

He didn’t, and went on to explain that this $400 machine was in perfect working condition. Did I take it?  Do bears…..well, you know! I have it in my shop now, waiting for one small part, a tip nozzle, and then I will begin to learn the art of welding with this machine. I’ve also had a number of other things given to me in really good working condition, including, of all things, a unicycle. I’m still debating if I want to risk breaking my fool neck to learn to ride it.  Would be pretty cool though!

This morning I went to pick up a small load of metal debris located about a mile from my house. I am actually developing a bit of a following for this service.  The lady who called me has had me over twice before to pick up the odd junk she is slowly clearing out of her house. On the way out with a load of junk in my arms, I noticed a small blue flower in the midst of the expanse of her grassy yard. One small Violet, a remnant of warmer times, holding on until the cold and bitter end of the winter.

For some reason, as I stopped to admire it, it brought a smile to my face and a warm feeling to my heart.  Later on, in a wonderfully warm Fall day, filled with sunshine and clouds, I noticed bright Fall hues of red, orange, and yellow adorning the trees scattered along the roadway.

Why is this important?

It is important because of what it is not – it is not the angst-filled and bitter ragings I am seeing in regards to the now finished election sequence in this country.  I am hearing howls of indignation and distress over the predictible cheating the Democrat Party is doing to try to wrest the presidency from President Trump. Throughout the weeks running up to November 3rd, I have watched and read numerous dire warnings of Apocalypse Now if Joe Biden and his merry cohort of Communists (Sorry, but that is what they are and they themselves have said as much!) take over this country.  Some people are doing the Internet chest-thump, showing off pictures of their guns with threats of a civil war starting soon.  The whole country has lost its mind, a collective of distrust, anger, selfishness, and threats of violence against those whom they perceive as enemies. My poor wife has even got caught up in this, binge watching Fox News for months now, upset beyond words at the results of the election and what many are percieving as open cheating by the Democrats. And in this midst of this swirling madness – a flower.

It is important because it is just a flower – a flower that God, the author of life, has created, along with all other beautiful things in this world. So many people are looking to politics and politicians to save them and create a peace in their world.  They are thinking that if only this party or that party can win, everything will be just hunky-dorey.  This is giving politics a god-like status.  For the Christian, our true joy – the fullness of life and all that is good – is never going to be found here on earth.  Christ promised that. He said that the world  would hate us because it has hated Him first, and if we are His disciples, we should expect as much. He never taught us to look to government to provide us with the joie de vive that we desire.  He is the joy of our lives. Or at least He should be.

If you're in a stormMore than that, He is in control. I think that so many of us forget this when life turns sour, when the struggles are overwhelming, when things don’t go our way. What an inspiration the martyrs of the Christian faith are. They held to one thing being important – Christ.  If life was good, if peace reigned in their country, if they had a bit of prosperity, that was nice and to be desired, but even if not, Christ was the focus of their lives.  I can choose to walk around all day, my stomach in knots over this election and all the evil that is going on in my country, or I can deliberately refuse to allow myself this worry.  My dear spiritual father, Father Elias, keeps working with me to keep my eyes on Christ, to continue to seek Him, to “fight the good fight of faith.”  I have a choice – worry about the future, be angry about the present injustices, which is pretty natural for me, or choose to remember that Christ is God, He is in charge, and all shall be well. The love of God ruling my heart will be of more value than any political victory, any temporal riches, or any self-aggrandizement that I may experience in this life.  He is my all, and my life is, as Father Elias reminds me, a struggle to make this so. And when that reality is fully present in my heart, no downturn, no enemy, no sorrow, no loss, no threat, no violence, and no disappointment shall distress me even one little bit. This is the legacy of all the saints and martyrs.  It can be my legacy also.

Somehow this morning, a little blue flower reminded me of that.

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