I recently came across the tale of Yuri Gagarin, a Russian cosmonaut and the first person to travel into space. Though the ship that launched Gagarin up into Earth’s atmosphere was quite large, his quarters were quite small – coat closest small. The saving grace was that there was a portal window that allowed him to see the curvature of the earth.
In the midst of beholding the beauty, he heard a mysterious ticking noise coming from the dashboard. Tick. Tick. Tick.
The story goes that Gagarin took out his tools and tried to find the source of this sound. But he couldn’t find it. It just kept going. Tick. Tick. Tick.
He was afraid that this small sound would break him. He decided the only thing he could do is to fall in love with this tick. So Gagarin closed his eyes and went into his imagination. When he opened his eyes he no longer heard the tick, but he instead heard music. He spent the rest of his time sailing through space in peace.
This was a story that I needed to hear this week, because I needed a reminder about perspective. What ticking do you hear right now? The pile of laundry that never seems to get any shorter…tick…the dishes that never seem to do themselves…tick…the drivers that don’t seem to understand the left lane is for passing…tick…the water heater that needs replaced…tick…the family member you just can’t seem to please…tick.
Practicing gratitude is a simple way to change the way we hear the ticking. Being thankful for food to eat makes the dishes seem not so bad. Or, thinking about the eighth commandment and trying to see the best in people, allows me to consider if the person who cut me off on Brady Street was having a really bad day.
We may never be able to make the ticking stop, and or hear all of the ticking differently. But in taking time to recognize God’s presence in the world, in our lives, and in others, we may just start to hear the music a little more often.