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Stephen A. Peterson
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4: 11, 13
Donna Monaghan and I were students at Father Thomas Scecina Memorial High School, Indianapolis, Indiana from 1962 through 1966. Although we were in many of the same classes, I really never came to know her until the advent of our 35th class re-union in October, 2001 when she contacted me by e-mail while I was on active military duty outside of the United States. Since then, we have remained in touch mainly by e-mail exchanges about our professional work, written work and our children.
I wrote Donna a lengthy e-mail regarding the story she wrote regarding an elderly man who found his way into the furniture store where she works. With patience and kindness, Donna helped this man find, contact and re-unite with his family. I finished writing the letter and paused to proofread it before sending it to her. When I came to a typo in the last paragraph, I laughed out loud. I had meant to write, “Donna, you gave a shining example of patience and kindness towards an elderly man who had lost his way and restored hope for him and his family”. Instead, the sentence read, “Donna, you gave a whining example of patience and kindness towards an elderly man who had lost his way and restored hope for him and his family”. Only one letter differentiated the two words, but what a difference that one letter made!
I thought about those two words recently when a young teenager was rude to me during a counseling session. Whining or shining. I remember them again when I had to miss a church related conference at Saint Benedict Catholic Church to stay home with a flu ridden family.
Whenever trouble, tragedy or disappointment comes our way, we have one of two choices—whining or shining. We can choose to complain and become bitter or we can choose to trust in the wisdom of God and believe unconditionally that He knows exactly what He is doing then wait for the goodness that is certain to come. What a difference in our lives that submitting to God’s Will and love makes!
Prayer: Lord, no matter the challenge, I choose to “shine” by trusting You even in the midst of what could be a “whining” moment.
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Flu or flue? Two words make all the difference right? Flu is the illness, flue is the chimney opening!
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