Why I remember light travels at 186,000 miles per second and that there are 5,280 feet in a mile, I have no idea. I'm sure the teacher who drilled those facts must have taught me something else as well. Really, it's not like the knowledge of the speed of light is particularly useful on a daily basis, but I do remember it during thunderstorms.
As a kid, we used to count the seconds between the lightning and thunder, but I don't remember if we knew to divide the total by five, which would make a bit of a difference. I might have spent my childhood thinking a five second space meant the storm was five miles away when, in fact, it was right on top of me.
Last night we had a ripping thunderstorm. Since the pool is close to the kitchen patio doors, I was counting the seconds from the lightning, and trying to not forget the mahi-mahi in the broiler, and thinking about an acquaintance with breast cancer, and listening to the news about drug thugs taking over a previously prosperous town in Mexico...it was all very worrisome.
But then, I caught the end of a news story that made me stop and cheer for a little town whose name I didn't catch. This town, like many others these days, had no money for recreation projects. But the people made a decision not to let recession and depression steal the joy of their children's childhood. Deeming summer memories of swimming, and splashing, and laughing important to the well being of their children, they raised the $12,000 needed to run the pool.
Good for them, I thought. I'm sure they had plenty of pressing needs, but they chose something immeasurable.
A merry heart does good like medicine the author of Proverbs tells us. I may not have much money, but there are lots of inexpensive ways I can do something to lighten my spirit--take time out for beauty, do something different or differently, read a humorous story, call someone and cheer them. Such little things are not life-changing but they just might be enough to change my perspective for the day and knock me out of a rut.
Lord, today,may someone needing the healing of a merry heart be blessed by a gift of laughter.
P.S. Perhaps too trivial for a laugh, but--Reuters has some silly news stories, like the girl who took her car for an oil change. The mechanic found bags of drugs under the hood and called the police. She told them she didn't know the mechanic had to look under the hood. (Okay, maybe not)