June 6 1944 D-Day Thoughts

On this 74th anniversary of D-Day my thoughts are very multifarious, I think of the bravery, the fear, the loss of that day . . . on both sides. Families grieving over the loss of a son, a husband, or a father. Being a former Marine, who was blessed by not facing combat, I do understand what all of these men had in common. All of the men had one job to do; they had the most intense focus imaginable.

I wonder if we in our safe communities can share that intense focus. Richard Rohr refers to this as living in the now. But what does this genuinely mean? Think of the possibilities we can perform if we focus on that one thing in the moment. As I am thinking on paper, I have a Haydn symphony playing in the background; I have the window slightly open, listening to the birds at our feeders; I look out the window and see the Afgan war veteran washing his car for the third time this week; and, I am thinking about the next few days when my focus will be on the Finance Commission and Vestry at St. George’s. All of these are distractions that can keep me from focusing on what I am doing now.

The beauty of nature, the myriad displays of colors in neighbors’ gardens, and the sound of a soft breeze blowing through the trees outside my window all calm me to help me focus on what I am now doing. But, I have to ignore all of these dream-filled distractions to keep on my path.

I complain to Linda that she spends to much time on serving others at The Table at St. George’s. At times, it seems as if her whole life revolves around serving those members of our community living on the forgotten edges of society. God has blessed them with a woman who is devoting her life to their needs. I am blessed to have a wife with such a mission. And, truthfully, there I times I feel that she spends more time doing this than she spends with me. After all, these are our retirement years; we should be doing what other retirees do.

But no, God has chosen us, has chosen Linda to spearhead this idea of The Table and make it the success that it is today. She has had tremendous help from other doing this, and I am grateful that God has included these other people in this project to make it what it is today.

In order to make this successful, it took an inordinate amount of focusing on the tasks at hand. Diversion was not a possibility; it was an impediment.

But this is the kind of focus we all must have to accomplish our goals in life. The men storming the French beaches 74 years ago dedicated their lives, sacrificed to allow future generations peace. The volunteers at The Table are sacrificing hours of relaxed pleasures to bring a better life to our brothers and sisters who have not shared in the prosperity of our country. I am sure that if roles were reversed, each would do the others’ jobs. God gives us gifts, gives us dedication of purpose, gives us the love of others to sacrifice our lives, or something in our lives, to serve our fellow man.

I praise God and I thank the men who sacrificed seven decades ago; I also praise God and thank the many volunteers across this country who dedicate their lives to help those less fortunate people who are parts of our extended families.

I have rambled from idea to idea today; but, as I read over what I have written, I will not change a thought; all these have contributed to my overwhelming gratitude for being where I am today, experiencing not only the beauty of the world outside my window, but also appreciating the whole world outside my window. Where I am today is because of the sacrifices of people who have helped put me where I am.  

May God walk with all of my families today.

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