It is Sunday night and time for me to write down some thoughts to share with you
early tomorrow morning. Sundays are good for me. I like stopping. I like church.
I love to sit in the second pew on the non-pulpit side and listen to the choir
singing in front of me, my friends singing behind me and today BJ singing next
to me. That music softens my soul and I can hear and feel things that I am unaware
of the rest of the week.
As I listened to Joe talk about the cyclical pattern of the liturgical year I was
struck by my desire for things to have a beginning and an end. Joe said this
cycle that is the church year begins today. Did you know that? We're United Methodists
and I would bet you a survey of folks leaving worship in churches across our
denomination would reveal that very few people knew when they woke up this morning
that today was the start of something. I knew it but I wasn't really prepared.
It didn't feel like the beginning of anything.
I read Fr. Richard's thoughts before I left home for the drive to church and wrote
down the question:
"What attachments in your life can you let go of to make room for God?"
I read the question several times during worship and once again at a stop light on
my way home. Then I just repeated it to myself throughout the afternoon, wondering
what I might say as a response. I sat down to begin typing my blog and thought
I should get my book and make sure I had the exact wording for the question.
But I was quite sure it read, "What attachments in your life do you need to let go of to make room for God?"
Fr. Richard has a way with words that can lead you to places you would rather not
go. There is a big difference in "What attachments .... can you let go of ....?" and "What attachments ..... do you need to let go of ..... ?"
I had quite a list of things that I need to let go of. You know how it is with those
lists. We make them and we talk about wanting to do something about each one
and we pray to be better here and more spiritual there. And then not much changes.
But to answer Richard's question, "what can you let go of?", that is a different journey.
After much deliberation I will share with you the one thing I think I can work on
letting go of to make more room for God. It is my Pride. You see, pride is defined
differently for all of us. For me it is the inability or unwillingness to acknowledge
my own needs and suffering. I'm just not good at letting other people in on my
needs and I certainly limit those who know about my pain.
The process of coming up with this one thing has not been an easy one for me. The
way the question is worded calls for commitment on my part. I asked lots of questions
about it this afternoon. For example: If I can let go of my pride, how does that
make more room for God? The answers surprised me.
God could come to me through others if I would only let them in on some of my needs.
If I share my pain and stop trying to carry it alone I could have more time for my
commitment to spiritual practices. That is where God most often meets me.
If I am not hiding my feelings maybe I can learn to trust others more ... and the
ability I have to trust others (who I can see) will probably correspond directly
to how much I am able to trust God (who I cannot see).
You get the idea. This question doesn't have an answer we can all share. You will
have to answer it for yourself. I hope you will do that with me.
Just what it is that you can let go of to make more room for God? After all, yesterday was the beginning of something new!
Be blessed on this the first Monday of the first week of Advent.