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Daily Dose (Mar 14 – 17)

Tuesday —

Another day carrying my script and list. And my travels today ignored the script (which travel can easily do). My early flight from Paris to London was cancelled this morning. So, missing my connecting flight, my itinerary was re-booked. All well and good until we learned that 40mph winds in London delayed all flights (and even cancelled several). When the re-booked flight landed a couple hours late at Heathrow, I was told by agents that I missed my updated connecting flight, and to look for a hotel, and work on a flight tomorrow. What they didn’t say was that the plane for my updated flight was still at the gate—departing over an hour late—and if I ran through the terminals, I could just make it before the doors closed (this I learned through the kindness of a stranger). And run I did. Not bad for an old guy.
So. I write this on the plane, destination Seattle. And I am grateful.
And I’m smiling big, because this week, our Daily Sabbath Moments will be encouraging the permission to pause (even and especially during those times when life goes off script—at least the script we carry in our minds). And to say thank you for those moments of “breaking bread” together, and motivate us say thank you to those people who have been “at the table” with us, and have shown up for us.
We will be embracing that without exception… every single time… wonder and awe coupled with the power of connection (no one of us is on this journey alone) breaks down barriers, invites us into the present, and tells our irritation it wouldn’t hurt to find a place of rest.
As I write that last paragraph, we are flying over southern Greenland, the vistas majestic and magical. My Oh My.

And I’m smiling because I remember a very different experience in an airport one week ago, waiting for my friends to arrive at Charles de Gaulle in Paris. As I sat for a spell, sipping my espresso, I watched the cheers and clapping and ovations in various languages, greeting and welcoming people as they came through the baggage area doors. There was no shortage of big hugs and very big smiles. And a boatload of gratitude. Breaking bread indeed.

Wednesday —

What do we do when life turns left… whether it affects our script or our list, or even (and especially) the places we’ve tethered our wellbeing?

This story helps me reconnect.
In John’s Gospel Jesus has died. Mary is despondent. She visits the grave, but Jesus is not there. I understand her anxiety or panic… I’ve lost something vital. I need it. Where did you put it?
At this, Mary turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
Only one word. Mary.
In saying her name, what freedom did Jesus give? We know that Mary has a connection with Jesus that is profound and life altering. But notice this: the power of the relationship—which Jesus triggers with a simple affirmation of her name, Mary—is no longer outside of herself.
Or of myself. Or yourself.
Mary, (Jesus is saying) that which you seek, is already here.
Already inside of you.
Oh my…
She hears the truth when she is stopped from her frenetic search.
So. This week, let us take the permission to pause, and sit still long enough…
to hear that voice of grace,
to hear our name spoken…
to be present,
to be aware (to savor and to celebrate),
and to share (to spill light),
It is from this place that we can make choices to show up… to work, create, relate, give and receive.

I know I’ve had my travel issues recently, but our friends in the Northeast are in for it, a rapidly intensifying nor’easter bringing heavy snow, winds and coastal flooding today, making travel impossible in some areas. Stay safe my friends.

Thursday —

This song touches my heart. I can relate. And I always enjoy any invitation to cry good tears.
A song about the expectation and yearning for “life as it should be” and the ability to move on from (or move past) “life as it is”. Because somehow, in life as it is, we are unable to embrace the gift of enough.
And when that happens, I am unable to see…
…to receive,
…to embrace,
…and to be embraced by the arms of grace.

Waiting for my Real Life to Begin, by Colin Hay
Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I’ll keep checking the horizon
And I’ll stand on the bow, and feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down, down, down on me
And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart, let the light shine in
But don’t you understand
I already have a plan
I’m waiting for my real life to begin
When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams, I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path, up this cobbled lane
I’m walking in my old footsteps, once again
And you say, just be here now
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin
Just let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I’m waiting for my real life to begin
Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I’ll keep checking the horizon
And I’ll check my machine, there’s sure to be that call
It’s gonna happen soon, soon, oh, so very soon
It’s just that times are lean
And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart, let the light shine in
Don’t you understand
Oh, I already have a plan
I’m waiting for my real life to begin
On a clear day, I can see, see for a long way
On a clear day, I can see
See for a long way
–Colin James Hay and Thomas Mooney
(Note: Colin wrote this after he was dropped from MCA records in 1991, and the song represented his state of mind, wondering what he was going to do with the rest of his life.)

Friday —

I love it when Spring displays its charm. A wonderful and blessed reminder that small and unseen colors and blooms allow us to stop; and embrace this moment, embrace this day. Yes, even when winter is still very real.
Our photo today, a delightful reminder. With this from David Steindl-Rast, “A single crocus blossom ought to be enough to convince our heart that springtime, no matter how predictable, is somehow a gift, gratuitous, gratis, a grace.”

And yes, that gift present even in the darkest days. And this is my response to anyone still requiring “arrival” (or resolution, around the corner) for life to begin—even somehow believing that God is waiting to bail me out…
I asked one young friend, “So what’s next for you?”
She replied, “I’m just waiting for God to show me what he wants from me.” Okay.
But in the meantime, you know, until you have your life and self figured out, I have a suggestion: Live today. Live this day, with this self—yes, soft self, without holding back. Today… savor, doubt, embrace, question, wrestle, give, risk, love, fall down, get up, accept your incomplete and fractured self, know that anything worth doing is worth doing badly, speak from your whole heart, and whenever you can, lavish excessive compassion and mercy on anyone who crosses your path. Who knows, you may even love someone “into existence.”
And if you practice all of this while you’re still waiting for God’s instructions, I’m sure God won’t mind.
With this picture of the hunger in our soul, let’s hang on to what David Whyte describes as “that small, bright and indescribable wedge of freedom” in our heart.  Today, I can live with that. And today, I hope, I can make choices from that soft and authentic—and sacrament of the present moment—place. 

A happy St. Patrick’s Day to all. Our blessing below…
And to March Madness lovers (college basketball), savor your days.

Prayer for our week…
An Old Irish Blessing for St. Patrick’s Day
May your days be many and your troubles be few.
May all God’s blessings descend upon you.
May peace be within you, may your heart be strong.
May you find what you’re seeking wherever you roam.
May the strength of God pilot us, may the wisdom of God instruct us.
May the hand of God protect us, may the word of God direct us.
May thy Salvation, O Lord, be always ours this day and for evermore.
Written by St. Patrick

Prayer for our week…
May this be a morning of innocent beginning,
When the gift within you slips clear
Of the sticky web of the personal
With its hurt and hauntings,
And fixed fortress corners,
A morning when you become a pure vessel
For what wants to ascend from silence,
May your imagination know
The grace of perfect danger,
To reach beyond imitation,
And the wheel of repetition,
Deep into the call of all
The unfinished and unsolved
Until the veil of the unknown yields
And something original begins
To stir toward your senses
And grow stronger in your heart…
John O’Donohue

Photo… On my way out of our village in the northern Rhone, near Albon… 

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