One of my favorite authors Barbara Brown Taylor wrote in her book An Altar in the World about a time when a wise old priest invited her to speak at his church in Alabama. “What do you want me to talk about?” she asked him. “Come tell us what is saving your life now,” he answered. “It was as if he had swept his arm across a dusty table and brushed all the formal china to the ground. All that I had to do was figure out what my life depended on…and…talk about it (so that) my listeners (could) figure out those same things for themselves.” A tall order!
What is saving my life right now? Having a sense of humor about life keeps things in perspective. I listen to podcasts while I am driving: Pray as You Go, Taizé, Nadia Bolz-Weber sermons, Rob Bell Robcasts, and others. As I was pulling out of our apartment building garage the other day, going a little too fast for a pedestrian going by on the sidewalk, I was listening to the Brothers of Curmussa singing the 103rd Psalm to begin the reflection of the day as I was rushing off to meet someone, still trying to get into a spiritual space, and pray. The pedestrian was startled by my car emerging from the garage, made a rude gesture and shouted an obscenity. I reacted with another Bad Word. This was Not Good. So, you can see that the Brothers of Curmussa were not helping me that day, yet.
On other occasions, I am able to be inwardly renewed and transformed by music, readings, spoken words and sacred text. As I listened to a Biblical story on Taizé, which was partly in French, God was not in the wind, fire or earthquake. God was in “une souffle de silence,” a breath of silence. Isn’t that beautiful? These intentional times with the Creator may also be moments of awe or admiration of nature. Photography has deepened my appreciation of Beauty by giving me a reason to stop and really look at the scenery. Usually I tweet the photos @KahuMikala. These moments of renewal are saving my life right now.
What is saving your life right now? Is it having a sense of humor about your own foibles or the everyday events of your life? Is it having times of renewal in ways that help you feel refreshed and transformed? What do you say to this question?