“From childhood on I have had the dream of life lived as a sacrament . . . . The dream implied taking life ritually as something holy.” Bernard Berenson
“A sign hangs on the wall in a New Monastic Christian community house. ‘Everyone wants a revolution. No one wants to do the dishes.’ I was, and remain, a Christian who longs for revolution, for things to be made new and whole in beautiful and big ways. But what I am slowly seeing is that you can’t get to the revolution without learning to do the dishes. The kind of spiritual life and disciplines needed to sustain the Christian life are quiet, repetitive, and ordinary. I often want to skip the boring, daily stuff to get to the thrill of an edgy faith. But it’s in the dailiness of the Christian faith–the making the bed, the doing the dishes, the praying for our enemies, the reading the Bible, the quiet, the small–that God’s transformation takes root and grows. . . . The point of exchanging my morning liturgy was to habituate myself to repetition, to the tangible, to the work before me–to train myself, in this tiny way, to live with my eyes open to God’s presence in this ordinary day. I’d cultivated a habit, from the first conscious moments of my day, of being entertained, informed, and stimulated. My brain would dart quickly from stimulus to stimulus, unable to focus, unable to lie fallow. Making my bed and sitting in silence for just a few minutes reminded me that what is most real and significant in my day is not what is loudest, flashiest, or most entertaining. It is in the repetitive and the mundane that I begin to learn to love, to listen, to pay attention to God and to those around me. I needed to retrain my mind not to bolt at the first sight of boredom or buck against stillness. That took the cultivation of habit.” Tish Harrison Warren
“Train yourself to be godly.”
1 Timothy 4:7b NIV
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Do you practice some spiritual disciplines that are quiet, repetitive, ordinary–very unspectacular?
- Is remembering “God’s presence in [your] ordinary day” something you’re working on?
- Are you “habituating” yourself to that by some repeated practice(s)?
Abba, may the daily rhythms I choose help me to remember the sacredness of each day, and your presence in it.
For More: The Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
“The second loss caused by the absence of lament is the stifling of the question of theodicy …the capacity to raise and legitimate questions of justice in terms of social goods, social access, and social power. …It is now noticed and voiced that life is not as it was promised to be. The utterance of this awareness is an exceedingly dangerous moment at the throne. It is as dangerous as Lech Walesa or Rosa Parks asserting with their bodies that the system has broken down and will no longer be honored. For the managers of the system – political, economic, religious, moral – there is always a hope that the troubled folks will not notice the dysfunction or that a tolerance of a certain degree of dysfunction can be accepted as normal and necessary, even if unpleasant. Lament occurs when the dysfunction reaches an unacceptable level, when the injustice is intolerable and change is insisted upon. …The lament/complaint can then go in two different directions. …the complaint can be addressed to God against neighbor [or] addressed to God against God. …the issue is justice. …the petitioner accepts no guilt or responsibility for the dysfunction but holds the other party responsible. …The claims and rights of the speaker are asserted to God in the face of a system that does not deliver … with the passionate conviction that it can, must, and will be changed. …When the lament form is censured, justice questions cannot be asked and eventually become invisible and illegitimate. …A community of faith that negates laments soon concludes that the hard issues of justice are improper questions to pose at the throne, because the throne seems to be only a place of praise. I believe it thus follows that if justice questions are improper questions at the throne … they soon appear to be improper questions in public places, in schools, in hospitals, with the government, and eventually even in the courts. Justice questions disappear into civility and docility. The order of the day comes to seem absolute, beyond question, and we are left with only grim obedience and eventually despair.” Walter Brueggemann
“ justice is perverted”
Moving From Head to Heart
- Do you believe “the system has broken down?”
- Are justice issues “improper … at the throne?”
- Have you settled for “civility and docility?”
- Do you believe things “can, must, and will be changed?”
More: The Psalms, Patrick Miller, editor
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”