Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Week IV - Day 1 - Joy and Sorrow - The Evening Review

Saying, "No" is actually saying,
 "Yes" to something else!
A "Sister" asked if I had found peace in saying, "No" and I would tell her, "YES!"

Several years ago I think a friend did a sermon about saying "No" to one thing,  was actually saying "Yes" to something else.  I remember I gave a speech at Toastmasters on it, but I don't think it was my idea. But, wherever the idea sprouted and took was an interesting insight to hold.  I used the same twist in my Ash Wednesday mediation by asking the congregation to think of something they wanted to ADD to their lives during Lent....I journaled about this as well.

For myself, I added this journaling time and I gave up evening TV in order to do read, reflect, and write.

There is a different feel to adding something you yearn to do rather than denying yourself something and then depending upon your will to accomplish your resolve.

The hardiest of all flowers!
The sun was shining earlier today, the tractors were charging to and from the barn lot, the birds were singing their spring songs...I thought how it sounded and smelled like new life.  Spring has to be my favorite time of year for that very reason.  Every spring brings new hope and a sense of joy that I have survived yet one more winter. Yesterday, leaving the church I sang out a spring welcome to the true flowers of spring...The favorite of all children, the simple dandelion.

I thought a lot about Joy/Sorrow as I walked outside and as I prepared the Maundy Thursday service for about an evening of Sorrow that leads to Joy.

Dry empty Sweet Gum seed pods on the
same small branch as bursting buds.
Walking around my yard I was renewed with a sense of the new life that was coming out all around me.  I noticed how nature was displaying the signs of death alongside new buds of life. I thought how my thoughts and reactions to things the past few months was now creating barriers to my enjoying life...right this moment.

Joy/Sorrow.  Death/Life.  Hello/Good-bye.

I made a decision that would get a lot of worry off my plate...and I felt good, open, peaceful about that decision...

Until...I got a phone call that gave me all the reasons why I should stay on the course I had set out...

Surely I am not the only one to get these kind of phone calls!  I begin to second guess myself, "Is this God speaking to me?" or "Is this Satan himself working on me!"

If I am going to get dramatic...might as well go all the way.

1. How open or aware was I to the presence of God in my day?
2. What kind of nourishment did I receive? What kind of nourishment did I give?

Earlier today I worked electronically with two leaders from the church on a position description and a grant application for a youth pastor.  This is exciting for the church.  There are so many kids!  Sort of a Joy/Problem!

Later, like I just wrote, I worked on the Maundy Thursday service worshiping with every scripture passage, song, visual, video... I was fed by the grace and love of Spirit and I pray that some of what I received today, I am able to return in this service.

Besides Maundy Thursday, I finished this week's service that will focus on Jesus calling Lazarus to "Come forth!"  Another Joy/Sorrow story for me to hold.

3. Does anything need to be emptied out in order for me to be at peace tonight?

At this point, I've a lot on my heart.  It has been a wonderful day...the kind of day that allows me to feel whole...the kind of day that I feel as though I am doing exactly what I was created to do.  It has been a joyful kind of day.  It has been the kind of day that enables me to forget about those days that weigh heavy.

God, help me to empty this cup of mine...empty it of both the joy of this day and the nagging concern/sorrow of this day. I am beginning to appreciate that both have to be a part of my life, I cannot escape the sorrow and sadness just as I cannot always live within the joy and the sunshine.  I'm seeking balance.  I am seeking to be where I might do my best work...and right now...I'm back to feeling confused.  So, God, that I might have good rest tonight, take this...hold this...knowing it will wait for me tomorrow.  AMEN.

Before leaving...I don't know if anyone but me enjoyed watching and hearing Carmen back in the early 80's?  Some, I know, really can say little nice about Carmen...but I enjoyed him!  Today, searching for things on Lazarus, I came across Carmen's "Lazarus, Come Forth!"  Yes, Carmen is different, but I still smiled, sang along, and then wanted to cheer at the end! What fun... I wonder if I could do a rendition for the Children's Message this Sunday?

Oh...probably not.  Carmen is certainly not very Presbyterian. : )  Lazarus, Come Forth!

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

1 comment:

  1. I loved Carmen in the 80s and enjoyed the clip of his live version of "Lazareth, Come Forth!" The kids would love your rendition.