July 15


Today's quotation:

One day my dad was repairing the light fixture in the bathroom.  He asked me to hold one of his hands and to grip the faucet of the bathtub with my other hand.  I did this.  Then he licked the index finger of his free hand and stuck it up into the empty socket where the light bulb had been.  As the electricity passed through him and into me and through me and was grounded in the faucet of the bathtub, my father kept saying, “Pal, I won’t hurt you.  I won’t hurt you.”  If I had let go of the faucet, both of us would have died.  If I had let go of his hand, he would have died.

James Allen McPherson

Today's Meditation:

What a powerful story this is, and what a powerful lesson this man taught his son.  I can't read this passage without realizing that I simply never could do what that man did-- and therefore, I could never teach such a lesson in such a strong way.  That's okay, of course-- we all have different lessons to teach in our own ways.  But what an incredible moment to share with another human being, and what an incredible lesson in trust he taught his son.  He taught him to have trust in him, but he also taught his son that he trusted him completely with his very life.

There are those who would call this action reckless, who would say that the man was playing with fire and that he had no right to risk his life and his son's life in that way.  These people may have a point, but that's irrelevant-- the act is over and we should take from it what we can learn from it rather than trying to categorize it or define it.

This father took a great risk, one person would say.  Another person could counter with the point that he took absolutely no risk at all-- as long as his son held on to his hand and the faucet.  And this latter fact is absolutely true-- given the properties of electricity and grounding, there was no risk of either of them being injured.

The boy learned about trust, but he also learned the importance of being grounded.  When we are firmly grounded, then the potentially harmful things that life puts in our paths are really just like the electricity-- something that will pass right through us without hurting us.  Where we ground ourselves-- in our religion, our skills and talents, our sense of self, our God, our knowledge-- will be different for each person, but we should search out that grounding with all our hearts, for that's what's going to allow us to get through everything we need to get through.

Questions to consider:

Where do you find yourself most strongly grounded?  Are you there often?

How do you feel in the times when you're not strongly grounded in the aspects of life that are most important to you?

Who teaches us how and where to ground ourselves?  How many people truly know how to ground themselves against the possible harmful aspects of life?

For further thought:

Groundedness is one of the most important components of a satisfied life. Being grounded means having a guiding philosophy — a foundation of personal integrity that outside influences cannot disturb.  Our philosophy contains our values, spiritual faith, personal boundaries, and the causes we support. It reflects our core beliefs about who we are and how we conduct our lives.

Steve Brunkhorst



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