Greetings, friends. Steve weighing in. And that's a very appropriate term as I have indeed been noshing on all sorts of goodies lying around the house...dessert is becoming my drug of choice as we travel this path. That and salt, of course (yeah, yeah, I know...all in moderation). Anyhow, there's a wonderful book title that I like, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. It's by Eugene Peterson and is about the psalms of ascent in which pilgrims sang some psalms as they made their trip to wherever they were going (can't remember where, it's still early and I've only had half a cup of coffee so far). But anyhow, the psalms are 120-134, in case you're interested. But what I really want to say has to do with the title, as it speaks of stamina, perseverance and implies a relentless, often unglamorous journey that is arduous and not always pleasant. And that's the situation that we all find ourselves in right now.
As with any journey, whether real or metaphorical, there are challenges to face and obstacles to overcome while one makes his (or her) way to wherever they are going. In my mind, one of the toughest of the bunch has to do with trying to buoy lagging spirits during the long haul. Perhaps that's what those pilgrims tried to keep at bay when they sang their psalms of ascent to one another. I haven't read the Canterbury Tales (have tried, though) and I suspect that's what those folks were doing as they made their way to Canterbury on their own spiritual quest. When the going gets rough, when you're in the trenches, it's nice to have someone beside you urging you on. That camaraderie goes a long way in helping everyone put one foot in front of the next.
With Gabrielle's recent cancer recurrence, she has been so overwhelmed by the spontaneous outpourings of support and encouragement from so many of you. As her recent blog post indicated: count your blessings, name them one by one. How true. She loves going to the mailbox and getting cards. I had a long day at work yesterday and rolled in a little after 9:00. The first words out of her mouth (after, "wipe your feet and use the Purell") were to tell me about the wonderful box of sea foam from Bruce's Candy Shop in Cannon Beach that Erin had sent and the three boxes of brownies that Laura had made and sent on up. Smiles all around! And those things go a long way to keep us as upbeat as we can. I have to add one of my own: my goofy cousin Rob, ace lawyer to the stars in Eugene, Oregon. Apart from the fact that he is a rabid Ducks fan, he's a pretty good guy. He keeps sending me the silliest, dumbest videos and pictures that he must find on really bizarre sites on the Internet. The most recent one was a series of photos of guys doing really cool things (not exactly the safest, but still cool in their own right) entitled "Why there are less men than women". I am thankful for two things: for him sending them along to me (giving me some pretty nifty ideas to try) and also for not sending them to Gabrielle as they will worry her.
So this entry is about us all doing our best to go through life as best we can, when we are on a long journey and stamina is a must. Nothing big or glamorous to report today. I feel like we are midway up the mountain, round Cape Horn, to Canterbury, on our marathon, or halfway through tackling that mound of treats that has arrived on the front porch. Big tasks in front of all of us. It is an honor to have all of you along on our journey with us. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think there's a brownie that's just asking to be taste tested.
Oh, and lest I forget, in the midst of all of this, I do not want to forget to wish all of you a joyous Holy Week in the midst of this Easter season. It is indeed a time of renewal, hope, and such. We have to get through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, but Sunday's coming and it will be glorious.