too much stupid s#*!

Today Carrie Newcomer posted these words from the late Howard Thurman:

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” 


There are days when I ask myself, "Why do people of faith ask me to give attention to stupid shit?" If that is too blunt, I beg your pardon, but it is accurate:  stupid shit. Petty things and frivolous demands that neither bring joy and life to my existence, nor deepen the calling of Christ's church in community. Most of this involves incidental criticism or self-absorbed preferences rather than anything of consequence. Small wonder that Jesus told his homies back in Nazareth: "No prophet is accepted in his hometown." He was being neither cynical nor snarky, just brutally honest in a poetic manner, because he might have added, "Familiarity apparently breeds contempt," too. On Transfiguration Sunday I gave myself - and our community - a challenge:  let's encourage one another rather than complain or judge. I think that is a worthy Lenten challenge. So I am attempting a fast from reacting harshly to the stupid shit I hear nearly every day. But in order to honor this fast, I have realized I must name it from time to time or else it will seep into my soul and poison it with resentment. To date, the only antidote I know to the stupid shit is laughter and rest. 

That means periodic Lenten naps are an absolutely essential.spiritual discipline. So, too are stories that search out ways to name the stupid shit without malice. Sometimes they are self-deprecating - those are my favorites - but there's also room for yarns like those spun by the creator of "the stupid shit my father says" blog. Those tales can point out the absurdity that not only strain human credulity, but must confront God every second of creation with shock: we truly are incredible creations who, most of the time, have no clue about the stupid shit we think is important. 


I was telling Dianne some of the stuff that came my way today and after hearing a portion of it she proclaimed:  Do people REALLY think that shit is important? It made me laugh out loud because yes, apparently they do. Thanks be to God the day has come to a close and we could laugh together. I suspect that there are others who are laughing at my stupid shit, too. Such is the humility of this discipline, yes? So, like St. Paul, I say rejoice - and again I say rejoice:


“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

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