So this is what I've been thinking about....
"WOW...THANK YOU, GOD...HOW CAN I HELP?" A Rabbi that I like a lot, Rami Shapiro, wrote recently in his column in Spirituality and Healing (my favorite magazine), that the very best prayer of all is this one: "Wow!...Thank you, God...How can I help?"
I love that!
"Wow!" Awe...reverence...amazement at simply being--and at the being of every other wonderful person and thing on this marvelous blue planet. Perhaps you read what Steve Jobs's final words were. His sister wrote a deeply moving eulogy that she read at his funeral,
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/opinion/mona-simpsons-eulogy-for-steve-jobs.html?pagewanted=all . She said that at the end he looked at her, at his wife, at the children, and then, " Steve's final words were: 'OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.'" I try to image what wonders he might have glimpsed at that moment, what eternal design made pale every brilliant notion he had ever come up with. And then I wonder, right here on this earth, how many moments of "Wow" I miss daily because I have come to take them for granted or don't stop the rush of my perceptions to truly see. Surely, greeting each day with "Wow!" is a divine exclamation worthy of a prayer.
"Thank you, God." Gratitude, I know, sets the tone for a day in which "wow" can pop up frequently. In the space that gratitude carves, I see clearly that everything is a gift. Either it is a recognizable gift or it can be reshaped to become a gift. This Thursday we will focus on our blessings and say thanks with friends and family at the table. What if the annual event could become a daily event, a moment to moment event? What if we could look at everything placed on our table and truly say, "Wow. Thank you, God."
"How can I help?" What better request than this?--volunteering for the workforce of God. And no one is rejected because God has placed in everyone a godly heart and a godly mind that has godly gifts to share. My excellent sister Marie, who turns 70 this month, is celebrating by doing 70 "Random Acts of Kindness" this month. (Sorry, Marie. I just blew your cover.) Our special assignments show up many times a day. A person enters our mind...another shows up at the door to our office or our home...a creative idea pops up that might be a blessing to many...the weary clerk needs a warm smile and a special thank you...the person on the other side of the kitchen table needs to be really listened to... Maybe it's sort of like, "Ask not what God can do for you but what you can do for God." And maybe those two things magically turn out to be the same.
NEW BOOK I HIGHLY RECOMMEND. Conversions, a new book by BYU professor Craig Harline, has been selected by Publisher's Weekly as one of the top ten books in religion. Conversions is a deeply moving examination of how our closest relationships are often destroyed when one member leaves the family religion. One thread of the book takes place in the Reformation, the other in modern America, where an Evangelical family has to deal with a son converting to Mormonism and then coming out as gay. It is a brave and engaging book.
COULD YOU USE A CONSULTATION WITH CAROL LYNN? http://www.clpearson.com/consultations.htm. I had such a good time last week being a telephone guest at a book club last week. Twelve women in Indiana read No More Goodbyes in support of one of their members whose husband had come out as gay. "After we finished speaking with you, the discussion continued until midnight. Several very religious women wept as they talked about how their hearts have changed over the past few weeks."
FREE COPY OF NO MORE GOODBYES: Circling the Wagons around Our Gay Loved Ones with orders of $30 or more from the large selection of books (fabulous Christmas gifts) at my website through November 27th. http://www.clpearson.com/personal_gifts.htm.
DON'T FORGET TO WATCH FOR SYNCHRONICITIES!...those magical moments that God or the Universe slip into our daily lives to remind us that there is meaning, or just to remind us to smile. Here's a note I got last week:
"I'm really just writing to tell you how much your book Consider the Butterfly [now Embracing Coincidence] has meant to me, and how much I am watching and telling my own stories. One of my most recent 'synchronicities' happened to me last weekend. I went camping with my two older sons and a large group of teens. My oldest son turned 18 last Thursday, so we all sat around the campfire in the freezing cold telling stories about my son. Meanwhile, in the bitter cold, my son was using a shovel to scoop hot coals out of the campfire and place them carefully in the dirt underneath our folding chairs so the heat from the coals would warm up our backsides. Suddenly, it hit me. Exactly 18 years ago to the very hour when my son was born, we placed him on a warming tray in the delivery room with a toasty warming lamp to warm up the baby. Now, at the exact hour of his birth 18 years later, my baby is warming up his old man's backside at the campfire. It's come full circle. It was a really beautiful moment (which I had to share with everyone at the campfire), and I really credit you for giving me the vocabulary to describe how special that combination of events was."
If you are not aware of the magic and meaning of coincidence in your own life, you must read Embracing Coincidence! http://www.clpearson.com/personal_gifts.htm
Here's my personal latest. Yesterday. Kind of a down day. Not saying "Wow!" or "Thank you, God." Concerned about a loved one. Writing a birthday card, I wrote the word "hope..." just as I heard the word "hopeless" in a song on my Internet radio. Okay. Which word do I like better? I choose "hope."
Would love to hear some of your stories of synchronicity magic!
And may Thursday be filled with thankfulness and be a pattern of many thank-filled days to come.
"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." ~Albert Camus
Love and blessings from your friend,