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First things, only things

by davesandel on December 31st, 2016

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First things, only things

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Seventh Day of Christmas and New Year’s Eve

1 John 2:18

Children, it is the last hour.

Now, granted, John wrote these words when he was approaching 90 years old.  He lived mostly alone in a prison cell.  He rarely saw the sun.  And his hopes may have dimmed as often as they were raised, when he forgot to pray.

That happens to me on the opposite end of busy-ness.  Morning chores call me to get up and get moving.  My mind floods with things to do and promises to keep.  And so I forget to sit and settle and center and pray.  And it’s not long before my chores aren’t what I thought they’d be, and my hopes dim. John was depressed, and I’m anxious.  And we are both prone to disappointment.

But Jesus is alive. John also wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  This is truth that reawakens hope for us generation after generation.  We are trapped by time, but God is not.  We all die, but God does not.  We trust our relationship with Jesus.  And hope springs up again.  So much more to our lives than what we see or comprehend.  Industrial Light and Magic is just the tip of the iceberg.

Be still, and know that I am God.  This final day of one year breaks into the first day of the next.  But there is no hurry.  We are waiting, and we are here.  We are in the midst of God.

Be still, and know that I am.  Yahweh is in our midst.  Emmanuel has come.  All God’s “doing” is encompassed by his being.  He calls us to live like him.

Be still and know.  Logos, logical, logistic – we could crawl up the Tower of Babel, ever more insistent on structure and containment – but no, wait … legions of wisdom march in and out of human consciousness.  How much do we know, and how can we know more?  All there is to know?  We can’t even count the galaxies, let alone get to them.  The geography of the spirit is bordered by what we know but is never contained by it.

Be still. Now we’re getting somewhere.  Don’t just do something, sit there.  In this best of times and worst of times, during these seasons of light and seasons of darkness, springing up in hope but then falling down frozen in despair, we can learn to simply sit like Charles Dickens’ French women sat.  Watch and wait.  Spin stories and let them go.  Quiet mind, open eyes.  See what happens next.

Be. There are no words to modify this two-letter word.  Singlesyllable of silence, never spoken, always heard.

Father, I think of St. Francis’ words, “Always preach and represent God well, and when necessary, use words.”  Our people-parties can get kind of wild on New Year’s Eve.  We have so much to regret, and so much to anticipate.  What have I missed, and what is yet to come?  Caught in time I am, until I reach back a notch and settle in with you, find stillness once more.  For the last time this year and the first time in the next, we fly away.

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