Present and Accounted For
Most of us began our childhood days in school by answering to a roll call. A teacher would call out our name and we would answer “Here”. Then the teacher would send a note to the office or record in the roll book that all were “present and accounted for”. A teacher needed to keep track, especially since school attendance is compulsory in many areas. Knowing that your child is safe inside the halls of academia is also a good feeling for the parents. It does, however, set up expectations for us that perhaps go too far.
First, in today’s world, school is not always a safe haven. Young girls are abducted by fanatical groups who see strong women as a threat and educating girls as the first step in creating strong women. Mental health issues unaddressed have also been at the heart of most school shootings and have resulted in many school now spending as much on security as they do on textbooks.
Taking attendance at school is not a bad thing and school security has been important for over forty years. The problem comes when we expect our life to be as clear and simple as taking attendance. Just showing up is important but as we go through our living, are we truly “present” or do we just go through the motions?
If we are to really live what we learned during our Lenten series, we must be mindful of our living. We must be present each hour and not just go through the motions. All too often we awake dreading the day. Life is not always fair. There is no getting around that basic fact. There will always be someone who appears prettier, has more toys, gets ahead in what seems like an easier and faster career projector. Life is messy and, at times, unfair. It can still be good, nonetheless.
Instead of waking up thinking of all the things you “have to” do that day, why not open your eyes and marvel in those things that you “get” to do? You have to get up early and go to work? Rejoice that you have a job; not everyone does. You have to clean house; be grateful you have a house. Someone made fun of your religious head covering? It is always wrong for someone to bully another based upon religious or spiritual preferences but give thanks that you are strong and secure enough in your faith to wear it in public because not everyone is or can.
Life is not always fair but it is always good and a blessing to live. Hopefully in these fifty days of Easter we will explore the many things we get to do in our living. I hope today you will be mindful of those blessings and present as you do them. Life is the greatest gift of all and we get to experience it each and every day. When we are truly mindful of that, then we are not only present, we are able to recognize and account for the beauty that life can be.