Skip to main content

crack me up

I went to see my osteopath yesterday because I have had a pain in the side of my chest for almost two weeks. It turns out that I have a cracked rib (and a few rotated ones) probably caused by a violent coughing spell or two. Oh, and she suggested that this nasty cold that I have been battling for the past month and a half is actually low-grade pneumonia. Really? That would explain a lot of things. Yes, that would totally make sense.

Isn't it amazing how I continue to function pretty normally, or at least believe I can, when the symptoms are not screaming out loud. I will, of course, respond to blinding red lights and clanging bells and gushes of blood, you know, emergency situations...but an ache, a cough, some fatigue, a slight hint of fever. None of this is cause for concern or even a change of pace. I continue to do my work, stay up late to finish an assignment if I have to, fulfill all my commitments and make new ones, and drink a cappuccino if I am tired before going to class.

We often ignore the body's (and the spirit's) subtle way of telling us something. Rest is so underrated in our society. Being overworked and having crammed schedules is a token of importance, success, and value, it seems. It is hard not to climb onto this treadmill towards nowhere, but this week I resisted: I dropped one of my courses. As it turns out, switching to the thesis option means that I don't need to take 3 courses this term. Nevertheless, I was hesitant to drop one. Besides liking the course, I didn't want to be a quitter. It would be a very busy term, but I was sure I could do it. After all, I am here to learn, right? What a sense of accomplishment I would have when I finished all that work! As it turns out, I was more concerned about my reputation as a hard worker and outstanding student than I was about honouring God with my whole life.

I began to think about what I really value in my life right now, what I am seeing good results from in myself and in those around me. These things are my ponderings and writings, my sharing of life lessons, my creative endeavours, my ability to be a friend when people need one, and my role as Dean's biggest fan. If someone calls me up and asks me to go out for a drink and talk about life, do I want to respond with, "Sorry, I have 50 pages to read before tomorrow?" (Shudder...absolutely not!) Do I want to come to the end of April with three well-researched papers and thousands of pages read only to realise how many people I have allowed to be squeezed out of my life during that time? (Eeeiiichhh...please, no!) Do I want to see the disappointment in Dean's eyes when I tell him I won't be available for a movie night or a dinner out for the next few weeks due to my workload? (Sigh...that's so wrong!) Yes, my schooling (vocation) is important, but not at the cost of a vibrant, connected, and thoughtful life.

If there is a shortness of breath in my schedule, if there is some fatigue in my hope, if there is a pulling apart of my relationships, if there are some cracks forming in my connection with God and my supportive faith community, let me see all these symptoms and take heed, for I am headed towards an exhausted and sick spirit. Oh, everything might seem to be okay and I can function perfectly fine, I tell myself. But I will pay for the arrogant ignorance later on in ways that are dear and costly. This I know.

The holy spirit is ever whispering and nudging us to come closer to God and closer to each other. This is our true vocation and should be where we find our energies directed. This means making difficult choices, but this gives life. This IS life, to my body, soul, and spirit.
This is a pistachio nut on my dining room table.

Comments

Shelley said…
I have a hard time with decisions like these...

Popular posts from this blog

what does the cross mean?

Words which we use a lot can sometimes become divested of their depth of meaning. In the Christian tradition, we talk about the cross a lot. We see visual representations of the cross in prominent places in our gathering spaces, we wear crosses around our necks, some get crosses tattooed on their bodies. The cross is a ubiquitous symbol in Christianity, so lately I have been asking myself, what exactly does the cross mean? For the most part, the cross as portrayed in contemporary Christianity is a beautiful thing, festooned with flowers and sunsets and radiant beams of light (just google cross or cross coloring page). But in the first century, the cross was a symbol of disgrace. To the Roman empire, this ignoble instrument of death was for those who were traitors and enemies of the state. We are many centuries removed from this view of the cross as the locus of torture and death and shame. The fact that Christianity has made the cross a symbol of hope and beauty is a good thing, but p…

stained and broken

Recently, I was asked to speak at another church, and the passage of Scripture which was assigned to me was John 1:6-8. "There came a man commissioned and sent from God, whose name was John. This man came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe [in Christ, the Light] through him. John was not the Light, but came to testify about the Light." (John 1:6-8, Amplified Bible)

The first question I usually ask when reading something in the Bible is this: What does this tell me about God? Two things are immediately obvious - God is a sending God and God wants to communicate - but there is a third which merits a bit more attention. Though God could communicate directly with humanity, sending truth and love to every individual via some divine mind-and-heart-meld, God chooses to send messengers. Not only that, instead of introducing Jesus directly to the world as the main event, an opening, warm-up act appears as a precursor. What is the point of incorporati…

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.

---------------------

When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…