"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Tuesday, February 24, 2004 I'm finding a big hurdle in my sabbatical is getting over guilt.
It's just in the last week that I felt I could spend a couple of hours doing something that had no tangible result or wasn't something I was "supposed to do" and feel OK about it. It's funny, because when I talk with other people about their lives, I tell them that not only is that OK but that it's important. Funny how we have other rules for ourselves than we have for other people.
Anyway, last Friday (I think), I plopped down on the futon while Hayden took a nap and watched "Network" ... a fabulous movie from the mid-70s about our entertainment culture and the de-evolution of network TV news, in particular. Now, it may seem neurotic to note with pride that I did this without guilt, but this is a pretty big deal for me!
And it's about something much bigger than taking a couple hours and watching a good old movie. It's about letting myself be ministered to -- by myself, by God. It's about living out the fact that God has given us each day as a gift. A gift that, yes, should be used to the love and betterment of God and each other ... but also a gift to be enjoyed and celebrated.
So on Friday, I lay on the futon in my basement and, without guilt, watched a great movie and felt refreshed afterwards.
I think this Lent, I'm not going to give things up or even take something on ... I'm going to try to live with a different intentionality. I'm going to try to live in a way that incarnates God's will for me to celebrate life. And that does mean continuing to work for justice and peace. And that does mean giving myself away in relationship. But it also means stopping and smelling the roses, or watching a movie, or taking a nap in a hammock (when it gets a little warmer). And not feeling guilty about it ... but being thankful for it.
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"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."