“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7 NIV)
“Ow, ow, ow, ow, OW!” I had just woken up and when I sat up I could feel my whole body hurting. My ankles were aching. My knees were sore. My thighs and hamstrings hurt. My gluts were burning. My lower back was tight and in pain. My hands and wrists hurt too. I tried to stretch but it didn’t help. It seemed like I was going to be aching for quite a while.
No, I wasn’t sick. In fact, I knew exactly why I was in so much pain. The afternoon before my daughter had gotten a new metal bed frame delivered to her house. And, of course, there was “Some Assembly Required.” I helped her move her heavy mattress into the hallway. Next I took apart her old, broken down bed frame underneath it and put it in her storage shed. Then I opened the box that carried her new one. It was full of long, heavy pieces, tiny screws, and that annoying L-shaped wrench to put it all together. I spent the next two hours on my knees holding the metal pieces together while I tried to get the dozens of tiny screws to fit in their holes.
It may have gone faster and I may have been in less pain today if only there had been better directions with the kit. They were full of confusing pictures and no explanations. More than once I put the metal pieces together in the wrong place and then had to unscrew my work and start again. By the end of the day my hands and wrists were sore from using the L-wrench. Then this morning all my over worked muscles were hurting as well.
I wonder how much better our lives would be if only they came with clear directions. We could give up so much pain and have so much more joy. Still, most of the time we have to learn from the pain. For most of us it takes a lifetime to get it right. We should, however, do our best to share what we have learned so others don’t have to hurt quite as much.
Here then are a few simple directions I have learned over the years that I am sharing with you now: Never miss a chance to share a smile. Watch the sun come up in the morning and the stars at night. Give all the hugs you can. Listen to music and sing along. Read. Write. Create. Laugh often. Take good care of your body and better care of your soul. PRAY! Love God. Love yourself. And Love everyone else too. Learn something new each and every day. Say, “I love you!” and mean it. And always remember what Leo Buscaglia once said: “The world is an incredible unfulfilled tapestry, and only you can fulfill that tiny space that is yours.”
Joseph J. Mazzella