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Fighting Fleas
by Estee in

I'm sharing another reflection from Inward/Outward today. This one resonated with me because I feel like I've been at war with worry lately. And it isn't even worry over something consequential. I'm worrying about a silly homeowner problem that will be cleaned up and cleared up soon. And yet, the issue (we had a slab leak and our kitchen floor had to be dug up) keeps nagging at me, buzzing around like a pesky flea that won't leave off. Reclaiming a space for peace like the quote talks about is a worthy goal, but not at all easy for me lately. And I think this task is complicated by the fact that not many people around me seem to be at peace either. None of us have very good models of what living with a peaceful presence looks like. Everyone is too busy and swamped by worry and in a hurry to cram everything into their day. It makes me think that maybe the job of reclaiming space for peace starts with simplifying our lives.

Fighting Fleas
Etty Hillesum

We have to fight them daily, like fleas, those many small worries about the morrow, for they sap our energies. The things that have to be done must be done, and for the rest we must not allow ourselves to become infested with thousands of petty fears and worries, so many motions of no confidence in God. Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world.

Source: An Interrupted Life: the Journal of a Young Jewish Woman, 1941-1943


Sarah Boyette said...

Interesting. I recall a sermon Jerry preached recently, where he talked about the benefits of fleas. They always keep you alert and scratching, trying to make things better....That's not a quote, but something like that. He said we all need fleas in our faith.
I try to claim peace when I find it, like on my morning walks. Everyone in town nearly is asleep, and I can clear my head and pray. It makes my whole day more focused and productive.

Estee said...

That is funny Sarah, how fleas to Jerry are something to stimulate our faith I guess, where the take on it that I have is that the little distractions in our lives make us so much less able to focus on anything! I agree with you -- walks are the absolute best way that I find peace too. So glad to hear that walking is your prayer form too -- it is certainly mine as well!

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