Friday, January 25, 2019

As close as our desire...

"What shall I do, Sir?"
Acts 22:10

Paul's question as he withers in awe on the road to Damascus, is a question we also ask, right? I remember asking that question of God during the Search retreat my senior year of high school. OK, I'm excited about the idea of God vibrantly alive in my life...what do I do now? I'd asked that question for the last several years and one day woke up in a treehouse in Boise working with second graders who know more math than I do, but I digress... Doing God's will comes down to making choices. Sometimes bigger choices, some smaller. God knows not to give me too many difficult choices, but even a choice between two possible jobs or two possible apartments can be daunting. There may not be a "bad" choice, either; both options are fine. But, prayerfully, I ended up using my heart to make my choices. Which option was the desire of my heart? Which option filled me with excitement and joy? That made it easier. God's will for us is as close as our heart's desire. Think about that for a moment. God's will is placed into our hearts as our desire. Incredible, isn't it? As we prayerfully make choices, big and small, in our lives, we only have to look to our heart's desire to answer our own question, "What shall I do, Lord?" That's fun to think and pray about all weekend! Love, heidi

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

More rules...

"Looking around at them with anger and grieved at the hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.'"
Mark 3:5

Pray-As-You-Go asked a ponderous question with this reading today. What caused the hardness of the Pharisees' hearts and could that happen to us? Wow, that's not something I admit I've thought about. They were the leaders of the faith, the Higher-Ups, the guys in charge. What caused them to totally miss this guy with the withered hand and concentrate only on the fact that Jesus healed him on the sabbath? Couldn't they see how diminished his life was with this disability and how better he would be with two good hands? What was it about them that prevented them from going there? I'm thinking they were very comfortable within the rules of the faith and those rules gave them a sense of security. After all, in those days it was all about obeying the rules to being able to justify yourself before God. Here comes this guy, Jesus, who is disobeying the rules and making good things happen in the process. What would that do for those who depend on the rules to look good themselves? Compassion could fly right out the window in that case, couldn't it? And what about us? Do we get so caught up in the rules that we lose compassion and concern for those who we perceive breaking the rules? Are we so concerned about our own well-being that we can't look beyond ourselves to the needs of others? Can we ever look into the eyes of real, live human beings and see their Divine spark or do we just see them as threatening rule-breakers? It isn't a stretch to see this scenario playing out in our country right now.  Where are we with it? Love, heidi

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Rules, rules, rules...

"Then he said to them, 'The sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for the sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord, even of the sabbath.'"
Mark 2:27-28

As I am watching a beautiful sunrise in Boiseville, I'm thinking how the sabbath was meant to be freeing for the people. They toiled long and hard all week, they deserved a nice rejuvenating rest, and that is why God told them to take it easy for one day a week. But, humans, as humans tend to do, got all twisted up in the rules of it. The sabbath became much less freeing and much more confining, with intricate rules marking what people could and could not do.  The goal became about obeying the rules rather than resting. Pray-As-You-Go asked if we think humankind is still too caught up in the rules and I nearly spit out my coffee.  Jesus proclaimed himself Lord of the sabbath to return it to its freeing nature, to give it back to the people as it was intended to be, sans all the strict and crazy rules. Take a day off, put your feet up, spend time in quiet mindfulness. Don't get wigged out about the rules for yourself and, certainly, don't be nit-picky about the rules for others. Because, you see, that's exactly what they did; they policed each other strictly and critically, which is why Jesus had to remind them not to judge, too. And this was two thousand years ago...where are we with it now? Love, heidi

Monday, January 21, 2019

Like a bridegroom and his bride...

..."and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you."
Isaiah 62:5

My ears perked up when I heard this at mass yesterday. Our son just proposed to his wonderful girlfriend while they were in Australia and New Zealand. Last evening, we got to see them for the first time since their engagement and hear all about their adventures. It doesn't seem possible that God could rejoice in us more than this young couple rejoices in each other! But I know it's true...It makes me tear up to realize that so much love exists; I can't begin to comprehend it.  But it does and it is showered upon us constantly. Isaiah uses the example of a bridegroom and his bride to illustrate the most powerful love human beings can experience and thus, fathom, and still, God's love is so much more. To see a young couple so in love, though, I feel I've gotten a glimpse and it's so fabulous... Blessings on your Monday! Love, heidi