Gravity. I can hear John Mayer’s mellow, and adult contemporary- bluesy tribute to his own foibles playing between my ears. My own failings, though not the same as his, come into sharp relief, as the sad guitar licks play.

I have, honestly, lots to be sad about. Any one of the events could devastate someone. Loss, and the threat of it, have been looming on multiple fronts, hovering like buzzards waiting for their moment to feast. And feast, unfortunately, they will. I mull that over accepting and rejecting it. But inside, I know the truth. The truth is jagged, vicious, unrelenting, unyielding, and cruel.

I quickly repurposed the melody of Gravity, and imagine the word Entropy instead. Because that’s what I see. Entropy is the perfect red rose, whose petals have begun to curl and droop, with wine tinged edges. And the petals are dropping, but some viable flower remains. That’s exactly where things are. Except, it’s not a single rose, it’s a dozen.

I could lament the fact that a lousy hand seems to have been dealt over the last few years. But I’m truly grateful to at least be in the game. And I have also had tremendous blessings, opportunities, and incredible joy. None of that is lost on me.

I could be miserable, but I just can’t. I’ve lived just long enough to know that stressful moments are teaching moments. I’m learning lots. To what end, I cannot answer. The journey is the goal.

I’ve tried to stay warm and kind through sheer force of will, recognizing that it’s in dark moments where people become bitter–something I’ve never wanted to be.
I’ve dug deep into my soul for reserves of strength I suspected were not present. They were hiding in a quiet place, but they were there. It is akin to having an asthma attack and finding, after writhing in panic at the loss of air, that rather than dying, you are still miraculously able to breathe.

One of the greatest things to emerge from this season of adversity, is, I found out that even though none of this is in my control, my reaction to it is.

Sure, there are times where tears leak out of my eyes, or I get justifiably angry. It’s not pretty or convenient. It’s raw and honest. I just try to honor the biblical passage “be ye angry, but sin not.” I try not to hurt people and I’m looking for forward movement from that energy. I’m not always successful, but I try.

Quite often I realize that I’m simply missing the old normal, and people who are in danger of existing only in photographs. I’m grateful that even though the new normal hurts, at least I have that.

Being thankful is not specific to a holiday. It’s really a world view. It’s more than optimism. It’s appreciation for each moment, no matter how troubling or sublime.

I have positive, encouraging people in my world. I’ve been blessed really by some folks who have been pulling for me and mine. And so while the challenges that have happened as of late would make Job shake his head, and say, “enough,” I can’t help but think of what wonderful thing or things must be around the corner.

Gravity tugs at us all. No matter the clothing, or even the smile, the eyes tell the story. Each of us is fighting a hard battle. Physical entropy always wins, but spiritual entropy¬† doesn’t have to. Joy is a choice, not a destination.