Tonight I got a message from one of my Myspace friends. I guess I am a Myspace loser/geek/undesirable. I rarely get messages, and mostly from people I know or people grossly, and shamelessly selling a product. This wasn't one of those messages. It was just a simple appeal to take a moment from all the holiday bustle and remember Christ. The fact that they guy was good looking didn't hurt either--if that's his real picture. Anyway, I couldn't resist (okay, I could, but didn't) looking at his page to see a little more about what he's about. Turns out he's a very positive person. Helps a lot of people. Apparently enjoys eating out--he mentioned it like, three times. And is just an all around good guy, who enjoys great conversation. Somebody you'd take home to mother--at least it seems like it. You know how Myspace is.
But I was struck by the fact that he said he needs to slow down and not work so hard. Isn't it funny that Mr. Give, Give, Give, has trouble stopping. And isn't that oddly revealing. A bit of nakedness that startled me. Or maybe I always know how to find the spot that needs the prayer.
Since he'd taken the time to send me such a cool message, I thought I'd send him one as well. I'm frightenly adept at being leisurely, but more than that, God is teaching me to truly slow down and listen to everything. An ancient, Orthdox prayer says:
O Heavenly King,
Spirit of Truth Who are everywhere and fills all things
Treasury of Good Things, and Giver of Life
Come and abide in us, cleanse us of every sin,
and save our souls, O Good One.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal,
have mercy on us. (Repeated 3 x for each person of the Godhead.)
I think of this prayer often, and how it affirms the Holy Spirit filling all things. The mystery of that. I am finding God in nature in a way that I was afraid of, but it's like Edna St. Vincent Millay said in one of her poems, "God, I can push the grass apart, and lay my finger on thy heart."
I thought about these things as I read Sebastian's message, and how he revealed a bit of his struggle. We all need to slow down and listen, whether we work, or are just being lazy and unaware. God is always trying to get our attention. He just keeps speaking. But can we hear Him?
I felt an urge to write to Sebastian. This is what I said:
So, you asked for suggestions about slowing down and not working so hard...
The wound reveals the cure. Slow down and don't work so hard. Play more. Keep the child inside you alive because Jesus said, "allow the children to come to me and don't prevent them." Such is the kingdom of heaven. Make sure to have some toys in your life. Give lavishly. Laugh a lot. Talk too loud. Love without discrimination. Look for God messages and surprises everywhere. He is always speaking, and has a kooky sense of humor. Once I brooded and grieved a situation I didn't take to God. He (and Son and Holy Spirit) spoke to me through a billboard as I was driving down the street. It was an ad for an exterminator, with a gigantic roach on it that said, "We know what's bugging you." I laughed my way back to grace and peace.
When you enjoy eating out, take time to be a culinary contemplative. Experience your food as a gift and a bit of art. (I add this for you ragamuffin diva reader, because it occurs to me now: Bless it for all it will do for you, body, soul, and spirit.)
Keep being one of the good guys. Don't abuse anything that is beautiful. Tell women and children that they are precious because we get far too many messages that tell us otherwise. Remember life is short, and eternity long, so get a head start on heaven by living well. Nourish your body, remembering that the earth has everything you need to take care of it.
Visit the ocean. Lie on the sand. Let the sun shine on your beautiful, brown skin.
Bless everyone, even those who persecute you.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God.
Love and grace, my friend.
Thanks for the wonderful message of remembering Christ.