Hello St. Paul’s family,
I hope you are settling into this cool weather as we pray for rain in the season to come. Personally, I have welcomed the cold and the wind more than most years – with all sources of worldly stress weighing on my body, sometimes walking out and allowing the lungs to fill up with moist air is as comforting as a warm living room might normally be in the height of winter.
I wonder if we have different ways of approaching these ever-present “stressors” and looming thoughts; we hear about them in the news, in our social media feeds, in conversations with friends and family, and even in weekly homilies. It doesn’t feel right to intentionally blind ourselves and maintain blissful ignorance to things like climate change or fentanyl and opioid epidemics, but it isn’t sustainable to only entertain thoughts of human despair either. I am having trouble making space for both, in honesty, and feel I’m playing a binary game in jumping back and forth between “forced positive outlook” days and “gloom and doom” days.
Thinking about a sense of joyful expectation in what is to come can be difficult in this time (especially on the “gloom and doom” days), but I’ve realized that I can always come back to the humbling truth that everything good comes from God, and I am undeserving of every single good thing which comes to me. Every single minute of life is a gift we have done nothing to earn or own; every breath, every smell and sound and taste and touch, every time we filter some drinking water or tie our shoes, all are gifts from God. I pray that we all remember this sentiment as it applies to us every day, as it is incredibly easy to forget while we’re following our routines in comfortable and technologically-advanced lives. If we can begin each day here, maybe we will stand a better chance in holding space, side-by-side, for gratitude and the crucial work still needing to be done in our world.
In the days and weeks ahead, please be kind to yourself, join me in starting each day recognizing our beautifully humble place in the world, and continue to make prayerful music with us in services in expectation of what is to come.