Posts Tagged ‘doing

05
Jul
21

The Day After

I went to the football game on that Friday night in October. Going to the game was an important ritual in the town where I grew up. In fact, in the 1960s in the midwestern U.S., it was an act as central and essential as going to church on Sunday mornings. 

[Except that the football game was ALWAYS a whole lot more exciting.]

This particular game was a nail-biter. The outcome would determine whether our team went to the playoffs or stayed home. In the last quarter, with 2:30 left in the game and the hometown Wildcats down six, our incredible junior running back, Ronnie Brewer, broke outside on a sweep around left end and rambled 62 yards for the tying touchdown. 

The extra point was good, and we held on for the last two minutes to win the game. The crowd – and the whole town – went wild. It was truly a memorable moment for all of us. 

But for me, the EXTRA memorable thing happened the following Monday at school. That year I was a freshman… new to the school and still awkwardly making friends and finding my way around. But as I walked down the hall toward my locker that Monday morning, I turned the corner and LITERALLY bumped into Ronnie Brewer… the hero of the previous Friday night.

Ronnie just stopped, smiled, said, “Excuse me,” and went on about his business, just like it was any regular school day in Hilliard, Ohio in the month of October. 

Which, of course, it was.

Little ol’ freshman me, however, was still living in the Golden Hour. I had not come down from the high of our school’s (MY school’s) historic football win from Friday. I wanted to keep milking the thrill of that moment for as long as I could, savoring the unbridled joy of it all.

And yet, here was the guy at the center of it all… just sauntering down the hall with his books under his arm, schlubbing along like any one of the other 300 students that day.

It wasn’t until much later in life that I was finally able to learn the great truth about mountaintop experiences; the truth that reminds us we can’t live at the top of the mountain. Sooner or later (and sooner is usually better), we all have to come down. We have to get on with business back down on the ground. 

Ideally, when we come down, we will bring something of the mountain back down with us. We use it to shape our flatland walking and talking in a fresh new way. But we have to understand that any lasting difference in the world is going to be made DOWN HERE and not UP THERE

There is the story in Matthew about Jesus taking three of his most trusted disciples (Peter, James, and John) up to the top of a mountain. While there, they have a profoundly life-changing, mystical experience. When the disciples expressed their desire to remain on the mountain, memorialize the place, and bask in the golden afterglow, Jesus instead hustles them back down the mountain and says, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” (Matthew 17:9, NRSV). 

Today is July 5. For most Americans, it is the day after a day of celebration marked by picnics, parades, and pyrotechnics. For the original signers of the Declaration of Independence, it was the day they all stood around in a circle, looked at one another and said, “OK. Now what?”

Majestic, memorable moments are important. They often ignite a fire in our souls. They either articulate or remind us of a lofty vision of life. They can fill the gas tanks of our motivation and resolve to get out there, take a risk, and make a mark. 

But history wants to remind us that the real difference is made on the day after… the dull, regular, mundane, plodding, routine, endless road of putting one foot after the other until one day the vision becomes reality.

Abundant blessings;

23
May
17

The Right Time

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…”
Ecclesiastes 3:1, NRSV

TimerContrary to what I am inclined to believe, “right now” is not always the correct answer.

On the other hand, “later” is also not universally acceptable – as some might have you believe.

“When?” is the question in question… as in “When should I do ­­­­_____________?”

When trying to solve a problem, it is no small victory to have tackled and nailed down the “What?” Pat yourself on the back a couple of times for that one.

But don’t overlook the importance of “When?”

Of course some acts come with their own built-in timetable. The time to begin cooking dinner, for example, is: well enough in advance of the desired serving time.

The time to begin your drive to Colorado is set by a combination of several factors, including the prevailing road conditions and the time you would like to arrive.

But there are other “whens” that are a bit harder to pin down. For example:

  • When will I take time to practice the guitar?
  • When will I pull those weeds?
  • When will I call to check in with my son?
  • When will I buy Joan’s birthday present?

These can all happen at any time. Which, sadly, means sometimes they can also happen at NO time.

But of all the “ whens” I struggle with, the one I probably struggle with the most has no built-in timetable or urgency about it. The answer could be “right now.” It could be “later.” It could very well be, “whenever I feel like it.”

The question is: “When will I do my ‘soul work’?” Or to ask it another way “When will I devote priority time and attention to listening to God’s voice and being shaped by God’s guidance and Spirit?”

Each of us has those times when we feel anxious and disconnected from God. In response we engage our “problem-solver” mode and set to work, looking to “fix it” somehow.

In one sense, there is nothing that should be a higher priority, right?

The very idea of saying, “Let’s see… I have to mow the lawn first… reply to some emails… then pick up the dry cleaning; I suppose I could probably squeeze in 10 minutes of ‘soul time’ before I have to leave for the softball game,” is really pretty silly.

But the more I thought about it, the less sense the original question seemed to make.

I mean, how can you really use the word “project” to talk about something as fundamental as becoming what you were designed to be in the first place?

Genesis 1:26-27 tells us that we were each made, “… in the image of God,” right? So then why would I be grunting and straining to try and manufacture something that is already there… that has been there in fact since before the beginning?

It might sound a little Buddhist to some, but maybe the “doing” I should be paying more attention to is more like an “undoing”… the undoing the attention I give to the standards of behavior the culture imposes upon me… the undoing of all of my devotion to the little “g” gods that stand before me… the undoing of my desire to seek the approval of people in my decisions and actions… the undoing of my anxiety to measure up.

And so, if that is true… if I am indeed called to less of a doing and more of an undoing… then the answer to the question “when” is pretty easy:

NOW.

And: CONTINUOUSLY. WITHOUT CEASING.

And: FOREVER.

Today let our project be one of emerging… emerging from under the pile of debris heaped upon us by the events of our lives… and emerging into the bright sunlight of God’s embrace.

Abundant blessings.

 




Russellings Archives

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow Russellings of the Spirit on WordPress.com

My Pastoral Ponderings

Pondering my way through God's beloved world

All The Shoes I Wear

Writing Down The Bones

Just Being Me

My life and faith - without a mask.

La Tour Abolie

An eclectic mixture of personal essays, stuff about writing, stuff about books and far out philosophy from an old baggage in a book-tower.

Eden in Babylon

a topical new musical and other progressive, creative works

LUNA

Pen to paper

_biblio.bing_

A law student and an avid reader. Along with your desired book reviews you're gonna get great book suggestions. Books of all genre with detailed review. Thank you, Visit Again ❤️

Humanitarian Explorer

Traveling the world to discover and meet needs

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Steadfast Pictures

Visual Media for God's Glory!

The Immortal Jukebox

A Blog about Music and Popular Culture

yadadarcyyada

Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure

Pics and Posts

Goodies from my mailbox and camera

My Spirals

• Hugs and Infinities

Shreya Vikram

Blurring the lines between poetry and prose

LUCID BEING

Astral Lucid Music - Philosophy On Life, The Universe And Everything...

%d bloggers like this: