“Discombobulate, meaning “to confuse, frustrate,” sounds like something straight out of a cartoon. It was first recorded in the form discomboberate in the early 1800s, and apparently originated as a humorous imitation of hifalutin-sounding Latin words.”—vocabulary.com
In the midst of getting belongings settled in our new apartment and also getting my office organized and beginning my duties, I lost (misplaced?) the set of church keys I had just been given the previous week. The same morning I discovered the keys missing, when I got in the car headed to an appointment with a new chiropractor, a message read “Braking system problem! See a dealer immediately!” I totally lost my emotional center! I was “discombobulated!” At the chiropractor appointment, my blood pressure, which normally is fine, had shot up. I couldn’t seem to focus to fill out the forms. In one place where I was to sign and date, I signed and started to put my post office box number! I dated things incorrectly. You get the picture.
I stayed agitated overnight. Finally, in an effort to get hold of myself, I thought about what was really going on. Keys can be replaced. I realized I was really upset about feeling I had embarrassed myself. I considered that this reflected poorly on me. What kind of confidence was I inspiring in my congregation when I immediately lost the keys?
So I went to the office where I forced myself to sit and focus on a daily reading that I do. Then I randomly opened a book I have had for a long time but never read. The chapter I opened to was based on a gospel story where Jesus encountered the man “Legion” (meaning many), who in current terms we would describe as mentally ill. His behavior was so disruptive that the villagers had tried to restrain him with chains from which he repeatedly broke free. One point the author made was about how fragmented we sometimes become. One of the discussion questions was: “What would your life be like if you were in your right mind?”
When I am “in my right mind,” I am either aware of all my blessings or I can fairly easily call to mind all that for which I am grateful. And there is so much! Just at the moment I am so very much relieved that our “stateside” son-in-law (not the “overseas” son-in-law) came through his heart surgery this week with flying colors! (Of course, this also was a part of my “discombobulation.”) So my heart is full and I give thanks.
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate
Hope’s Café Bonus: From Michael J. Fox, who has been dealing with Parkinson’s disease for 30 years: “Optimism is really rooted in gratitude. Optimism is sustainable when you keep coming back to gratitude, and what follows from that is acceptance.”