Thursday, December 13, 2007

morning thoughts

This morning did not start particularly well. My sleep had been restless, and the difficulty I had keeping enough blankets over my body left me with the impression of cold, of striving, of longing.

So when my five year old jumped up on our bed at 6:30 yelling "good morning!" at the top of his lungs, I knew the day was not starting on a particularly good note. So we played the DVR copy of one of his favorite shows, and I crept off into his room to try and catch a few extra minutes of rest.

Scant moments after lying down again, however, the regular morning onslaught of requests began: "MOM! DAD! I want Honey Nut Cheerios!", "Bring me juice!", "I want 'the three little pigs' one instead!"

So although it was with some sense of relief when I could finally escape into the shower, I was aware of a general tension, anxiety, and stress inside of myself. Or, perhaps better, I was not aware of it at first. I was going through the motions, getting ready for the day, repeating a litany of things that had to get done to myself. It was only when I noticed the soreness in my shoulder (a lingering golf injury) that I really noticed these things.

And in noticing this discomfort, physical and mental, I paused simply to relax, to breathe, to nurture peace in that moment. It was remarkable how differently I felt after that. I hope to get better at incorporating such moments throughout my day.

I was thinking of this because of my current search for "Christian community" and perhaps because of my interest in my relationship with Christianity more generally. Those who have read me now for some time know of my uneasy relationship with doctrine, and how I prefer instead to focus on holiness (which I believe is another term for developing love, compassion, happiness, and joy within ourselves and within our world).

In its own very small way, I believe that moments such as I experienced this morning are holy, are ways of encountering God whether or not we choose to put that label upon them. In my own experience, I don't know that Christianity always does such a good job of recognizing these as such. Holiness tends to be reserved for moments in church, moments of prayer, moments of sacrament. And don't get me wrong, I believe that these can be very powerful experiences of the divine, if we are open to them.

But I think that more important than what I believe, per se, is whether I am living a life filled with the kinds of qualities noted above. Without them, beliefs are empty. With them, beliefs can be fulfilled.


Wyldth1ng said...

I agree.

Diane said...

yes, holiness can be found anywhere, most particularly in the events you describe.
Do you know Peter Mayer's song "Holy Now" from Million Year Mind?
(don't know if you are a music fan.)

Gannet Girl said...

At the moment I am in a totally foul mood about doctrine, dogma, sacraments, the institutional church, and most especially poor seminary teaching re all of the foregoing.

Your post is a most welcome breath of fresh air.