One day at a time.

One day at a time.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Are You Out There?

Ever walked into a room and felt that there had just been a big fight or joyous celebration?  Perhaps you are one of those that can “take the temperature” in a room quickly without even knowing what has happened.  There are some who claim that when a world event has happened, they wake in the night not knowing what but somehow knowing.  If you ever lost a loved one, you may know the feeling that comes up in you that something is not right; then you get the call.  Not psychic powers, so much as a deep connection that transcends space and time.

Scientific studies have proven again and again that there is some kind of energy, knowing, and connection that exists beyond the measurement of five senses.  Even the live cultures in yogurt respond to human thought, or at least that’s the plot of Tom Shadyak’s movie “I Am.”  Okay, so perhaps our connections are not that simple.  Yet, surely many of us, not all, but many have felt a moment of transcendence when something beyond us, yet not fully in our grasp, connects to us.  These are the “awe” moments.  Fleeting moments of knowing we are connected and held beyond measure are often seen as the litmus test of spirituality.

Some people spend a lifetime trying to live only in these “awe” moments.

Yet, we know the great sages spent most of their life between moments of transcendence.  Mother Theresa spent years without any sense of the sacred in her life.  I wonder if Emerson or Thoreau spent days in the woods where they wandered without any immense feeling of self-reliance or wisdom unfolding.  I am sure even the Buddha had days of un-enlightenment.

Perhaps the secret, if there is one, to spiritual peace and contentment is not in seeking transcendence but learning how to live in the unpredictable presence of transcendence.  We are called to cultivate satisfaction in the days without sacred space and yet be ever willing to embrace the breezes of mystery and wonder that come through our lives.  It certainly means acceptance of the ordinary days.  

We are called to be worshipers, always considering what is of worth, training our eyes to see the sacred, our ears to hear it, our mouths to taste it, our noses to smell it, our hands to touch it.  We are called to be wanderers, walking in the great absence of “awe”, seeking more than finding, and yet willing when transcendence comes to let it in.  Only then, somewhere between pure moments of peace and the hard streets of concrete and schedules, can we know the great contentment of the sages.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Are We Defeated

For the last six months, we have watched together as people’s personhoods were debated in the public square. We have given every ounce to work toward defeating the constitutional amendment here in North Carolina. You have given your fullest measure of devotion: hours of phone banking, rallies, vigils, public pleas, petitions, political organizing, prayers, worship services, donations and collections. As the day closes on voting, and the results come in, it looks unlikely that we will defeat this insidious amendment.
But, are we defeated?
For the last six months, we have come together. We have created new relationships and partnerships with people joining the struggle for justice and equality for ALL people. New voices have come forth. A network of faithful people now stand ready with all we will need: rallies, vigils, marches, pleas, petitions, political organizing, prayers, sermons, donations, and spirit. As the day closes on voting, and we look out across our beautiful home of North Carolina, it looks likely that something new has emerged in the wake of this vote—a way forward.
Are we defeated?
The better question, friends, is:
Are we ready?
Tomorrow morning, we will rise and wake to a new day. We will make coffee or tea, and drinks sips with loved ones. The dogs will need walking and the cat will need feeding. We will go to work and stand around the water cooler. We will hold hands and hug. We will smile and see our people, God’s people, everywhere. We will go home, call a loved one. We will relish in food that is simple but shared. We will walk forward together making this world a better place. We will listen for the call will come again. We will make love, nurture our children, read bedtime stories, laugh and at last just before our eyes close to the day know that we could never be defeated. Hope lives on.
Hope lives on in this place we all call home. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the rolling Piedmont and out along the coasts of the Outer Banks, hope lives on in North Carolina and her people stand ready to step into its legacy.
The faith and devotion of those who have gone before us beg us to step forward. From Stonewall to today, they urge us onward and ask a single question:
Are we ready?
Take heart friends, hold onto love and the gratitude of those who have gone before for all that you’ve given. Know the journey toward justice calls us forward. Hope is our promised companion, and equality for all our promised land.
Come and go with me to that land.