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

Friday, October 14, 2011

Those infamous "bucket lists"

Time is free, but its priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it, you can never get it back. ~ Harvey MacKay

Since its Friday...a bit of fun... Green Day.

Yesterday, I was feeling pinched for time.

I didn't have the time I wanted to go outside and clean flower beds.

I felt rushed getting the BPC Update published and sent out.

I needed to get a start on the bulletin and a sermon...Sunday's comin!


It is comforting to learn I am not the only one who feels pressured and threatened by the lack of time to do....  In the second chapter of her book, A Word to Live...And Die By, Ann Voskamp recounts a similar thought process that I have described and then on page 31 she writes:
"...I close the bathroom linen closet. Pick up a brush to swish the toilets. I don't need more time to breathe so that I may experience more locales, possess more, accomplish more. Because wonder really could be here - for seeing eyes. 
"So - more time for what? 
"The face of Jesus flashes. Jesus, the God-Man with his own termination date. Jesus, the God-Man who came to save me from prisons of fear and guilt and depression and sadness. With an expiration of less than twelve hours, what does Jesus count as all most important? 
"'And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them...' (Luke 22:19 NIV)
Wow, a reality jolt on this Friday morning.

In the Greek "he gave thanks" reads "eucharisteo."

Ann challenges herself, and then me to consider if this one word could lay a sure foundation under life?  Could this one word offer the fullest life?

The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning 'grace.'

In other words, Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be a gift and gave thanks.  (Voskamp, p 32)

There is more, Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis AND it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning "Joy."


Isn't this what I am seeking?

Joy of living of being alive at this time in history, and knowing that Joy within every fiber of my being.

The Bucket Lists that are popular to write, are then not seeking this sense of "joy"?

But as I sit here pondering this joy, I know in my heart the joy of eucharisteo is deeper, broader, fuller than any joy experienced checking things off a bucket list.

The joy of eucharisteo is holy joy.
"Deep chara joy is found only at the table of the euCHARisteo - the table of thanksgiving. I sit there it that simple?" (Voskamp, p 33)

Is it that simple?

Ann continues pondering,
"As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Joy is always possible. Whenever, meaning - now: wherever, meaning - here. The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be - unbelievably - possible! The only place we need see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now." (Ibid)
It almost seems to simple!

Charis. Grace.

Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving.

Chara. Joy.

Grace, thanksgiving, joy. Eucharisteo

A Greek word...that might make meaning of everything?

For me...these are powerful thoughts and images that I will hold as I walk through the next few days.  Something else that comes to mind as I hold these thoughts is this passage from Ephesians, "A cord of three strands is not easily broken."

This coming Sunday, I will be officiating at the baptism of a beautiful baby boy during worship.  Holding Ann's thoughts, the thoughts of Paul,  and the thoughts of Knox's baptism...

This Charis...this Eucharsisteo...this Chara... Jesus always sent his disciples out two-by-two.  Why? I believe so they could be encouragement for one another AND so each would have a trusted friend with home to depend upon guiding him with love and truth.

It is difficult to discover Charis - Eucharisteo - Chara by oneself.

The darkness of the world is often difficult to resist when walking by oneself.

As I hold these thoughts of Grace, Thanksgiving, and Joy...I want to also consider who is in my life to help me live in this Grace, this Thanksgiving, and this Joy. I want to hold how I and the congregation are called to walk alongside John Knox.

God has placed his Spirit within me AND he has given me brothers and sisters to walk beside me, who also carry his Spirit within them.


One word that offers me the joy of God's grace in ways that are deeper and broader....more life giving than any check mark on a bucket list.  Praise God!

What am I grateful for on this Friday morning?

Simple things like my flavored coffee and that I didn't lose this post earlier! : )

I am thankful for Daughter #4 calling to give me a hard time this morning. : )

I am grateful for the sunshine that is streaming through my kitchen window.

I am grateful for the four wonderful women from BPC who have willingly joined me in this journey of faith.  Holding me accountable and offering me wisdom when I stumble.

I am grateful for a friend who offers me hard truth in love.

I am grateful....and as I sit within this circle of gratitude, I feel my inner self shifting ever so slightly as I begin this Friday.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi



    Gratitude Friday "A Simple Prayer" of thanks

  2. Thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog yesterday, Sandi. xoxo :)