Friday, August 2, 2019
Dear All of Us,
A few weeks ago here about we had a spate of summer on steroids.
Heat and humidity competed fiercely to reach one hundred first,
and together they cooked up a heat index of one hundred and fourteen.
The combination was wilting.
But ah, Dunkin' Donuts to the rescue!
Their sidewalk signboard offered relief:
" CHOOSE YOUR CHILL "
It listed a variety of frosty selections.
Just choose and chill you would.
Well, a lot more than the weather overheats.
And it takes a lot more than a Dunkin' Donuts frosty
to cool down and chill out.
The whole atmosphere of daily living can heat up to our wilting,
and certainly so spiritually.:
- the baby is in a toothing terror at two A.M.
- with great credentials, competence and six months of search,
no job offers better than entry level
- there are just too many Jones' to keep up with
- the daily dog of a commute with the monster boss at the other end,
making for hair loss and ulcer before thirty five
- flipping the metaphor, things in the romance department
have chilled to frigid
- flipping the metaphor back, the spiritual journey has meant
miles and months across scorching arid desert
and the GPS refuses to promise even a one star oasis ahead
- a schedule so intense it shorts out your I-Phone
- so many bills to pay you don't ever want to meet another William
- Thomas Merton puts it like this:
There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence
to which the idealist most easily succumbs:
activism and over work.
The rush and pressure of modern life are a form,
perhaps the most common form,
of its innate violence.
To allow oneself to be carried away
by a multitude of conflicting concerns,
to surrender to too many demands,
to commit oneself to too many projects,
to want to help everyone in everything,
is to succumb to violence.
The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace.
It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work,
because it kills the root of inner wisdom
which makes work fruitful."
Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
In one way or too many others we are fried.
We need more than a Dunkin' Donuts'
to cool down, to chill out.
If not Dunkin' Donuts, then what?
Well, looking around out here
on the street of over heated everyday life,
let's check out this signboard listing selections
for temperate spiritual living and then
"CHOOSE YOUR CHILL"
- Follow Jesus to times and places of prayer.
It could be early in the morning, or late at night.
It could be in your home, at a church, out in the sanctuary of nature,
as long as like Jesus we are alone with Abba.
In the solitude of Abba's embrace we are chilled to right and real.
Everything follows from this.
It is essential.
It is the sine qua non for an atmosphere of
balanced, refreshed and invigorated Spirit Living.
- Get off the power, popularity, "gotta have," not-so-merry-go-round.
- With Jesus embrace a life style making stride with simplicity
and its profound enrichments.
- Let the Jones' drive each other to overheated exhaustion,
and ease up to a balanced life style and standard of living -
enough but never more than enough
- Tame the use of social media to calm, humane focus
- Regularly delight in art, music, literature - any and all forms of beauty -
- Turn off TV and tune into the calming joy of creative activity -
paint a picture, cook Chicken Andalusia for dinner, write a poem,
garden, sing with a choir or with the birds, sew a quilt,
go fishing, restore furniture, go hiking, -
create with The Creator
- Get acquainted with the rich tones of quiet
- Take an occasional Day Apart and an annual Weekend Retreat
( Get the relatives, friends, people from church to switch off with you
in caring for the children/elderly )
- Develop an atmosphere of reflective calm and well paced activity
at home and work as best you can, but certainly within self
- Share tools, books, media, talents, needs and help, recreation and
meals, worship, public service, in a community
of social and spiritual commitment and significance
- Reflect with a Spiritual Director or Soul Friend
- Swim in the sea of scripture and spiritual reading
- Explore meditation, mindfulness training, Yoga, Tai Chi.
We live in a culture of acquisition, competition,
materialism, superficiality, speed.
Its drivenness overheats soul and society.
Living in harmony with Nature and Spirit cools the fires of burnout.
It frees for spaciousness of soul and society.
It requires refreshing selection, that we all
"CHOOSE YOUR CHILL."
Glad we have this chance to chill together.
Let's support each other working for
inside, outside, all about.
God Loves You and So Do I,
" God is the beyond
in the midst of our life."
A heartfelt welcome to all joining us
this week for the first time.
spirituality for the street
is posted online by mid-day
east coast USA time.
at 12:26 AM