Sally García is an educator, missionary, and member of the Family International in Chile.
Popular messages today teach us to live in the moment, to practice mindfulness, to take a deep breath… But sometimes our moments are more than moments—they stretch out into seasons. And that requires taking more than one breath. One of the wonderful things about getting older is that I have lived for many seasons, and so have many of my friends. These seasons have given us insights, and as we go about collecting experiences, they become like jewels to be treasured.
“Can you teach English to my wife?” I heard a voice behind me say while I was picking out veggies at the open-air market in our neighborhood in Chile. I turned around to an enthusiastic stranger who said, “My wife needs to learn English, and I think you’re the one to teach her.” I was baffled and told him that I’m not an English teacher, but he didn’t relent, so I reluctantly scribbled my phone number on a scrap of paper and handed it to him.
Years ago, I was in a complicated and unpleasant work situation with one of my coworkers. Things didn’t improve, and I was relieved when he eventually moved on. Some time later, I received a short email from him with two simple words: “I apologize.”
Have you ever been happily reading an enjoyable book when suddenly a sentence hits you right between the eyes? In The Furious Longing of God,1 Brennan Manning writes:
December is by far my busiest month of the year. The days are filled with organizing events, recycling toys to give to needy kids, buying gifts, decorating the house, and planning Christmas get-togethers and Christmas Eve dinner. Then there’s New Year’s celebration to ring out the old and ring in the new.
We live on a country road on the outskirts of a small town. There are two ways to enter our village from our side of town, but both present several obstacles for cyclists like my husband and me.
One entrance has a STOP sign that is habitually ignored by the motorists, many of whom pay no attention whatsoever to the right-of-way rules. Many folks use this road as a shortcut and don’t realize that there are narrow stretches, pedestrians shopping at roadside stalls, and lowly cyclists on our way to town.
I can´t remember how to spell that word! How do I express this idea correctly? I can’t seem to get my thoughts onto the paper!
I was seeing how rusty my writing was. I hadn’t had much opportunity to order my thoughts into written paragraphs since my school days, and I was facing the obviously poor consequences. Then I remembered how much I’d enjoyed a creative writing course in college.
Some of my most significant moments with God have been with my hands in dishwater. For many years, I’ve been in the habit of starting my morning with devotional reading and prayer. But inevitably, time ticks by, and I need to get up and begin the day before I feel like I’ve quite finished. Paraphrasing the old gospel song, “I’d stay in the garden with Him, but the day around me is starting.”1
For years I monitored children during recess and playground activities. Between all the running, jumping, rowdiness, and good-natured play, someone would often end up getting run into, tripped, shoved, etc.
Often the child who had caused the accidents would immediately raise his or her hands and say, “It’s not my fault” or “I didn’t do it on purpose!” But of course, establishing guilt wasn’t the immediate priority. The most important issue is the welfare of the “injured” one.
No, I’m not talking about coffee break romances, but rather about whether it’s possible to run a successful business with love. An article in the Harvard Business Review suggests that it is.1 It uses the analogy of the computer. Love should be the operating system (OS), and the other business strategies—sales, marketing, distribution, etc.—the apps. The apps are the most visible working part of the computer, but they’re only stable if there’s a strong OS.