Step Into the Light
Journal Entry 15 – December 23, 2022
By Stephen Maisenbacher
Well here we are again my friends. Another week is almost gone and this one is particularly fortuitous simply because it’s Christmas time. Christmas Eve is tomorrow and I’m spending it with my family. Here where I am now, in Springfield, Illinois, there’s a horribly, horribly cold-cold-cold front moving through. Some of the temperatures are near record-breaking.
At 5:30 this morning when I went outside for my prayers, it was minus 7° with a 35° below zero wind-chill factor. Needless to say, I trust the Creator understood my haste as I did my directional prayers with my tobacco offering already in my right hand and my eagle feather in my left hand. So I made my offering immediately after my prayers. Then I high-tailed it back inside cuz it was Burrrr cold!
Now this is my first winter back in the Midwest after spending many years in the South, so I’m not really acclimated to temperatures like this anymore. I’ve been preparing for the winter for months now. In fact, Sings Many Songs got me this good thick coat. It keeps my whole upper body perfectly warm even with the -35 wind chill. And of course, the love of my life, my beautiful Janice, knitted me this beautiful scarf that saved my butt when it’s so cold that if I’d have gone outside without it I probably would have risked frostbite. This coat and scarf, simple as they may seem are two of my most cherished possessions. I’m not really a materialistic guy but for these I will be. See, you may see them as just a coat and a scarf, but I see them as gifts of love, meant to help keep me safe and warm and comfortable and able to approach the Creator without having to risk freezing to death. While I am willing to sacrifice in my Approach to the Creator, I don’t think he wants my fingers or toes; I think my heart and my soul and my mind are enough. I don’t presume to speak for the Creator but I do presume to speak to him.
The Creator has made clear and obvious efforts to change the life of a man like me and I’m quite sure he understands exactly what I’m saying here. If you don’t think so, just watch a squirrel building its nest or the birds that fly south getting ready for winter. For every season there is a time to prepare and everything has its own season. Every facet of our Lives has its own season. We just don’t get to choose when or where those seasons may fall; they are left to the wisdom of the Creator. All we can do is try to be prepared and allow our loved ones to help us in our Journeys as we should help them as we can and when we can. I’m not trying to go all philosophical or any of that, but what I am going to say is this: If you surround yourself with people who want to be better people themselves you will automatically become a better person. Consider the physics of that very scenario – goodness repels evil, and evil only exists because of goodness.
So if you put good and good together you’re not going to end up with evil or bad; you’re going to end up with better. That’s what the people around me make me – better. They help me find who I am, even in the blinding, freezing, raining, cold; they help me be better. And they definitely know, I love them and appreciate them and I don’t take them for granted.
I was speaking with a young lady today about praying. She said it seems like every time she tries to pray a million other thoughts come through her head. I told her I know, it’s funny because I struggled with this in the beginning of my spiritual walk. I figured out that to get my Approach to the Creator done, I needed to take a look at all the fleeting thoughts that came to me. After that I started counting each thought as a blessing instead of a hindrance to my prayers. Maybe there was something that I wasn’t giving enough attention to or maybe something that needed to be processed or something I don’t know or needed looking at more than I did initially and that’s why the thought was still there anyway.
I said all that to say this: Not everything that’s not good is bad. Look at the 35° below wind chill this morning while I was out there praying. It wasn’t bad. It was a chance for my loved ones to help me approach the Creator with a little comfort and warmth and it was also a visible, physical manifestation and expression of their love for me. Which reminds me of tomorrow and spending Christmas Eve with my family. Remember that lasagna I talked about over a year ago in a previous chapter? Well, tomorrow is lasagna day and my dream is coming true! Oh happy day! Thank you Bab! Your lasagna most surely is a fine expression of love. PS: Hope you have some Tupperware bowls.
So there’s only one thing I can do from this point on. Keep pushing. I’m Walks On The Grass and I Will Never Surrender.
Long Road Home by Steven Maisenbacher