Lumunos helps you Reflect ~ Connect ~ Discover your gifts to find your call in life, through these stories and observations here, through our website, and through retreats. Help us help you continue to discover your calling in life. Donations are accepted through our Website.
by Tom Pappas
Last evening we drove 100 miles to see our granddaughters,
twin 9 year-olds, in their school’s vocal music program. The travel went well
and with time to spare we found a parking space and walked to the high school
auditorium. I had spent several moments
during the day imagining the excitement that was building in our girls, and all
the kids. When we entered the foyer we
were hit by the electric sound of children wired to the max.
We made our way to the roomy, modern auditorium and it tingled
with chatter and laughter. Grades three, four and five filled the first several
rows. We found excellent seats in the exact middle and were told by Harley that
she could see us from the stage because we were directly under a light. That
was satisfying. She and Brett were also in the middle.
I found myself feeling grateful for the appropriateness of
the program on Veteran’s Day. Songs popularized during the different wars
provided the theme. Brett had wished for Yankee
Doodle but the third graders did that one. Fourth grade got Boogie Woogie Bugle Boys.
All the grades sang the songs for the individual branches of
the armed service and vets were asked to stand while their anthem was sung. Each
was given a small flag.
We went directly to a frozen yogurt place and I was
overwhelmed with the options. There were 18 flavors of frozen yogurt – then
toppings – then fruit – then syrups. They weighed your cup and you paid by the
While we ate our creations and visited, grandma and grandpa
tried to get some Christmas gift ideas. This was marginally successful except
for a statement from Harley, which turned out to be an early gift to me. “Can
you think of something you’d like for Christmas?”
“I want to be surprised.”
I have gratitude for a nine-year-old who isn’t obsessing
about the material options that we know are being presented to all of us.
I have gratitude for the promise and innocence of children.
I am thankful for the magic of music. I have gratitude our country and its
freedom to love and worship God in the way each of us finds the most meaningful.
by Angier Brock
Among my favorite vendors at our weekly summer farmer’s market
is a trio of siblings who come each Saturday morning from their family farm
across the river. I started out buying their fresh eggs. With yolks so richly
colored that they approach orange (if you have ever eaten fresh eggs, you know
what I mean), those eggs are amazingly delicious. I have also bought chickens—whole
ones as well as parts—from these young farmers (the chickens are as tasty as
the eggs) as well as some of the breads, cookies, and granola that they
Last weekend, some friends and I visited their farm where
the family was holding an open house. “It’s good to know your farmer,” the
father smiled, directing us to the place where the farm tours would begin and promising
cookies and hot cider at the tour’s end.
Yes, it is good to know your farmer. Of course, most of
what I eat comes from hands of anonymous laborers and from places that are much
more distant than a thirty minute drive into the next county. In large measure,
I don’t know the names or faces of the people who raise the food I eat, or of
those who process it, deliver it to my area, and put it up on the grocery
shelves. And so I feel especially grateful for knowing at least this one
family. I am glad I can call each of them by name—and that they can call me by
mine. I admire the hard daily work they put into raising food. I appreciate the
respectful philosophy of husbandry they espouse, and I especially applaud their
humane and healthful practices. I also feel humbled by their commitment to
their call—seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year, in both
rain and sun, no matter how hot or cold.
We are not all called to be farmers who provide food for
the table, but each of us is called to cultivate something to help nourish our own souls and bodies as well as to nourish
our families, our neighborhoods, our workplaces, our communities. Our call
might involve teaching, making art or music, tending the sick, working for
justice, caring for the earth, building or restoring something, keeping lines
of communication open, volunteering for an organization that helps others,
fostering faith, or keeping hope alive. It might include sharing our financial
resources as well as our time and energy. We may not collect eggs each morning,
but as we live and work and pray, we can strive to let God’s Spirit, working in
and through us, grow its fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
And particularly at this time of year when it is
traditional to celebrate bringing the harvest home, we can give thanks—not only
for that harvest but also for the farmers.