Last night I was on a train for a couple of hours (too long a story). With two seats facing two seats, I was knee to knee to knee to knee with a fifty-something man who was working hard on a conversation with the man sitting next to him, a college student from Japan. It was impossible not to listen to their conversation, so I learned that he is a business consultant whose area of expertise seems to be mergers of large corporations, most especially mergers of Japanese banks. But he has a Ph.D. in literature, and taught for years and years before his current position. Their conversation ranged from Japanese literature to Shakespeare to Nietzche to Plato. He canâ€™t help but teach, canâ€™t help but challenge the young manâ€™s assumptions, canâ€™t help but be infinitely polite and respectful in a slightly condescending sort of way. He seems to make the most of every opportunity: every conversation, every book, every thought wants to be captured and engaged.
He seems to know his strengths and be living into them. Even on a train, 3000 miles from his home in Washington D.C., with a college student speaking English as a second (or third or fourth for all I know) language.
I suppose that’s been a fairly constant theme in my own prayers over the last week or so. God, help my eyes be on you; help me find contentment; help me live into who you have made me to be. And I was content with myself today…without ANY help from the circumstances, mind you. I woke up with a crick in my neck…on less than six hours of sleep…shot the worst 9 holes of golf since the 7th grade (and the back nine wasn’t much better)…had to say “no” to an evening with a friend, because I wanted to see my family.
But I enjoyed the fact that I did get to spend time outside with friends…drank in the beauty of clouds racing across the sky…and I got to be a shoulder for a daughter to cry on as she went to sleep.
May God overwhelm us with his grace, and may we have the eyes and ears to see and hear it.