Sunday, June 22, 2008

celibate or celebratory?

I am writing this blog on Saturday -- and the ironies of the evening are almost overwhelming.

I am supposed to be on my way to Portland to help celebrate the birthday of a college friend -- it is her 60th. The "supposed to" should be clue enough that I am where the party is not. Friends I have not seen in decades are going to be there -- while I am going to be here.

Once again I have boxed myself into an absolute conflict between what I have committed myself to do -- and what I would really like to do.

And this is where the irony comes in. I cannot take the time to go celebrate in Portland because I volunteered to give a sermon on Sunday about -- celebration, and what gets in our way of truly enjoying life.

Celebration is something that we neglect far too often in our lives. In fact, we allow our circumstances to end up running us.

I am going to suggest to my fellow congregants that we can show our love for one another by celebrating art, celebrating music, and celebrating our faith with one another. We can also open our homes and apartments to neighbors more often -- simple things like sharing cookies on the front lawn. Or breaking traditions by stop buying expensive gifts for occasions like birthdays. Instead, everyone should bring a favorite story and share it with the guest of honor. We need to stop saving up those stories until the person dies. We need to let each know how much they are appreciated right now.

Of course, I should simply sew a giant "H" on my shirt for hypocrite. Because I am doing exactly what I will be urging people not to do. Allowing busy-ness to get in the way of celebrating life.

I asked a Mexican friend this afternoon what he would do. His answer was simple. Stop worrying. Go to the party. Enjoy. Tomorrow will take care of itself. It seems I remember a wise Jewish rabbi who advised the very same thing 2000 years ago.


jennifer rose said...

This blog post is the sermon you're supposed to deliver. Just show up with the scarlet "H" emblazoned on your shirt, and you're good to go. OTOH, if you deliver this heart-felt sermon and expect that the congregation actually heed your words of wisdom, odds are that the pews may be empty come next Sunday.

Steve Cotton said...

I actually did both. I gave the original and worked in my own hypocrisy. As for empty pews, a week will tell.

I really enjoyed doing it.

Alan said...

My only comment, Steve is Phil 4:6-7! Alan

Steve Cotton said...

Al -- You, of course, are correct. My problem is that I insist on being the person to slay The Beast.