Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Overwhelmed?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 -- Week of 6 Easter, Year One
Justin, Martyr at Rome, c. 167
To read about our daily commemorations, go to our Holy Women, Holy Men blog:
http://liturgical.wordiness.com/category/holy-women-holy-men/

Today's Readings for the Daily Office
(Book of Common Prayer, p. 962)
Psalms 119:97-120 (morning)      ----- (evening)
Baruch* 3:24-37
James 5:13-18
Luke 12:22-31
                          *found in the Apocrypha

For Evening Prayer, the Eve of Ascension
Psalm 68:1-20
2 Kings 2:1-15
Revelation 5:1-14

One of the heartiest laughs that erupted from the audience during the Dalai Lama's recent visit to Fayetteville was his two-liner about feeling overwhelmed.  I hope I have remembered it correctly:   “If there is a problem to which there is an obvious solution, then there is no need to be overwhelmed; if there is a problem to which there is no solution, then there is no point in being overwhelmed.”  While reading, you have to add the Dalai Lama's boyish countenance, infectious smile and joyful giggle. 

I remember something Gerald May says -- "Things are as they are whether you accept them or not."

Jesus tells his disciples in today' reading from Luke:  "I tell you, do not worry about your life...  And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying.  ...Instead, strive for God's kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."

Jesus points to the ravens whom God feeds, though they "neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them.  Of how much more value are you than the birds!"

Jesus laughs like the Dalai Lama, saying, "And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?  If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest?"

In an interview many years ago, John Updike offered a model that had been helpful to him and to his intention to work steadily, unaxiously, without becoming overwhelmed.  "I will try not to panic, to keep my standard of living modest and to work steadily, even shyly, in the spirit of those medieval carvers who so fondly sculpted the undersides of choir seats."  Centuries later, choir singers, worshipers and even tourists are delighted by the intricate figures carved so anonymously on the other side of the cathedral seats.  Their modest artistry speaks to us of work that is focused, beautiful, and given to God without regard for any further purpose or ends.

So I'll make a resolve today to accept whatever is.  If there is a problem to be addressed, then I will try not to panic, but work steadily, even shyly on it, in the spirit of those medieval carvers.  I'll trust God in the present and leave the future and its unpredictable results to God as well. 

If there is a problem to which I have no solution, I will particularly trust God with that.  I'll try to wait until I can see a step that seems the best I can do.  Then I'll do just that.  Not trying to fix, or solve, or resolve anything prematurely.  Just do the best I can, and then wait.  Trusting God.  Let it be.

Lowell

__________________

Audio podcast:  Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week.  Click the following link:
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Morning Reflection Podcasts

About Morning Reflections
"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at missionstclare.com -- Click for online Daily Office
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html --  Click for Divine Hours

Discussion Blog:  To comment on today's reflection or readings, go to http://lowellsblog.blogspot.com, or click here for Lowell's blog find today's reading, click "comment" at the bottom of the reading, and post your thoughts.

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life: 
We aspire to...
    worship weekly
    pray daily
    learn constantly
    serve joyfully 
    live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas

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