Tuesday — This week, we’re talking about the invitation to wake up. And Advent is “awakened waiting,” which involves being roused, being shaken up. You see, Emmanuel, God-with-us, gets it. Everything human and the permission to live awake.
And how if we are asleep or numb or preoccupied or trapped (like Henry in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium), we lose our sense of play. We’ve lost touch with the child within, the one smitten with wonder.
So. Where is the play in your life?
Where is the rest?
Where is the wonder?
Where is the gladness?
Where is the gooseflesh?
I loved this advice from Sandra Bullock for graduates at a commencement celebration in 2014.
“And the rule is you have to dance a little bit before you step out in the world because it changes the way you walk. It changes the way you walk out in the world.
And if someone doesn’t want to play with you, it’s OK. It’s OK. You know, not everyone’s going to love us. Go find somebody who does want to play with you and who appreciates what you have to offer. And last but not least is, go find your joy. Whatever that is, go find your joy.
Are you going to have a good day or are you going to have a great day? Because it’s completely up to you. It’s what you’re going to remember in the end.
You’re not going to remember how you worried.
You’re not going to remember the what ifs or the whys or who wronged you.
It’s the joy that stays with you, and I want to thank you guys for the amazing joy that Warren Easton brings me every day. You make me walk out into the world with pride and I want you to go find it and I want you to go save the world while you’re at it, and I thank you so much.” (Warren Easton School, New Orleans, LA)
It is winter solstice–from the Latin words sol (Sun) and sistere (to stand still). Stay warm (for those of you not in south). And here’s a Celtic blessing to keep your heart warm…
“The food is put away for the winter,
the crops are set aside to feed us,
the cattle are come down from their fields,
and the sheep are in from the pasture.
The land is cold, the sea is stormy, the sky is gray.
The nights are dark, but we have our family,
kin and clan around the hearth,
staying warm in the midst of darkness,
our spirit and love a flame,
a beacon burning brightly
in the night”
Wednesday — Advent is “awakened waiting,” which involves being roused, being shaken up. Emmanuel, God-with-us, gets it. Everything human and the permission to live awake.
In Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium Henry is consumed by—assuming his entire identity is anchored only to—his work and job. We get it because it is still our cultural paradigm: you are what you do. After-all, it is the first question we ask when meeting someone new. “What do you do?” And we don’t really mean, “What do you do?” I want to tell people, “I read books and walk my dog.”
(Here’s my confession: On an airplane, I usually respond to that inquiry, “I’m a TV Evangelist.” Mostly because people do a double-take, and more than likely–for the rest of the flight–leave me wonderfully undisturbed.)
This is not just about work. This is about where we park our well-being and more importantly, the ways we measure it.
I love Lynne Twist’s reminder, “The problem is not simply that we work too much, the problem is that we are working for the wrong reward… We are paid in the wrong currency. What if we were to expand our definition of wealth to include those things that grow only in time-time to walk in the park, time to take a nap, time to play with children, to read a good book, to dance, to put our hands in the garden, to cook playful meals with friends, to paint, to sing, to meditate, to keep a journal.”
Yes. And amen.
So. What is on your “wealth list” this week?
Let’s not forget that child within, the one that is smitten with wonder.
Today I finished recording the audio version of my new book. Stand Still: finding balance when the world turns upside down. Yes, it was work, but there’s a lot in the book about my conversations with the sheep, so I smiled real big most of the day.
Quote for your day… The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives… All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. Pablo Picasso
Here’s our Prayer Blessing…
May this eternal truth be always on our hearts
That the God who breathed this world into being
Placed stars into the heavens
And designed a butterfly’s wing
Is the God who entrusted his life
to the care of ordinary people
became vulnerable that we might know
how strong is the power of Love
A mystery so deep it is impossible to grasp
A mystery so beautiful it is impossible to ignore.