We can all use a little power

Father Mark Goldasich is the pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Tonganoxie. He has been editor of the Leaven since 1989.

by Father Mark Goldasich

Holy cow, where is it?

The loss of this item was seriously disruptive of my everyday life. As always in a situation like this, I called upon St. Anthony for assistance.

When several days passed without locating the lost item, I called in the reserves: my dad. While on this earth, he’d unearthed many misplaced items for my mom and me. I figured he now had a bird’s eye view of things from heaven.

What was missing was my book of computer passwords. Yes, yes, I know that computer experts advise against writing them down in a book, but I find it impossible to keep all my passwords straight, especially since those same experts say that you shouldn’t have the same password for everything.

In any event, the book that usually sat right by my computer was AWOL.

Now, I didn’t leave all the work to St. Anthony and my dad. I was doing my part, plowing through reams of paper and assorted junk. The book was nowhere to be found. The fruitless search of my home led me to scour my car and Leaven office — all to no avail.

Because I couldn’t imagine accidentally throwing the book out, I sat at my home computer desk to suss out other possible areas to search. It was then that I noticed a binder underneath the computer monitor.

When I picked it up to put it away, I noticed how uncharacteristically heavy it felt. Opening it up, out fell the password book that I’d apparently used there as a “bookmark.”

I’m surprised that they didn’t hear my shout of joy in Topeka. A flood of “thank you’s” rolled off my tongue to the Lord, St. Anthony and my dad.

And I’m not ashamed to say I did an elaborate happy dance around my house, holding the recovered book high over my head.

The point is: It’s amazing how something so small, like finding what’s been lost, can unleash such a great power — in this case, joy and gratitude.

It reminds me of the story of a jet that was approaching Edwards Air Force Base in southern California several years ago. When the pilot tried to lower the nose gear to its landing position, it didn’t respond.

The co-pilot ran a quick check and traced the problem to a faulty relay panel. Recognizing the problem, he hunted around for something to bypass the relay and activate the nose gear.

Lo and behold, a strategically bent, lowly little paper clip did the trick. It worked like a charm and saved the expensive jet from crashing. (Adapted from a story in Brian Cavanaugh’s “The Sower’s Seeds.”)

Our lives are full of little things unleashing great power. A password can unlock a website’s cache of information. A key can unlock a car. A pill can bring about healing for diseases. A small battery allows cellphones, tablets and laptops to perform their various tasks.

Lately, I’ve started to pay attention to those little things that break open the power of joy and gratitude in my life: hitting all green lights while heading to The Leaven; getting an unexpected compliment; eating Tater Tots; having a Knight of Columbus clear my windshield of snow and ice before Mass; reading a good book; savoring a cup of hot coffee in a warm kitchen; finishing a difficult level in a video game; and having my car start in the frigid weather.

Honestly, true happiness doesn’t come from the rare experience of winning the lottery or finding a hidden treasure.

Rather, it’s the little daily pleasures — so often unnoticed — that consistently release the power of God’s blessings for us.

And life is certainly sweeter with that little help from above.

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