Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ways to be Salt and Light

Yesterday I ranted. Politics get to me sometimes.  I work hard to stay informed.  Sometimes, being aware of the world can weary.  We run the risk of becoming jaded and cynical. I'm reminded of the dwarves of Narnia, who after the long last battle, cannot see beauty, cannot taste the good.  They pride themselves in their certainty.  "Dwarves are for dwarves!" They cannot partake of the feast Asland presents them.  They eat, but do not taste.   They cannot see the great lion, nor can they hear his true roar.  

We live in a cacophonous age, with constant sound and news and diversion.  It can make it hard to hear God's voice.  So today, I'm offering a bit of salve:  How to be God's voice to others.

Pray.  Pray for everyone that ticks you off and everyone you love. I recommend the rosary.  Maybe a decade in the car after you catch the morning blips of news and the traffic report.  Say a Hail Mary for the Deejays happily chirping about how cool it is that so-and-so moved in with so-and-so  and for the so-and-sos involved.   List the politicians, the celebrities, the pains and anxieties of your life, and ask a saint to take each of these on, hand them over.  We have a litany of saints because we are a litany of sinners.  Invoke them all for all of us. 

Create beauty.  Put fresh flowers at the table.  Put away some one's clothes and maybe fluff the bed with an extra pillow.  Cleaning for someone else's pleasure is a gift, it gives them time because you gave your time.  De-cluttering to give to charity or simply to create a peaceful feeling of the home will have ramifications on your family beyond you not feeling like despairing because it's a mess.   Give yourself 15 minutes but be sure some of that time is thought on how to make whatever you're doing look better.  A little thought goes a long way. 

Visit.  The last one was a gift of time for others.  This suggestion is to be the gift of time with others. Invite a friend to lunch or surprise your spouse with a date, call your mom.  Call your brothers.  Ask about their lives, their days.  Listen.  When was the last time you called and it wasn't to share your news?  Relationships, all relationships atrophy without care.  Giving the care to a friendship is like adding seasoning to meat, it makes it tender, it makes it better.

Play.   Invite your children to play. Let the homework wait for 30 minutes.  The reason they are here, is to keep us fresh and young in our spirits, that can't happen if our only time together, is duty.  Homework, chores, errands, meals, bed.  We need to grow our relationships with them beyond physical care too. Otherwise, we're the cheapest bed and breakfast in life, and we won't know them when they grow up, and they won't know us either. 

Quiet.  Thirty minutes before bed, turn off all the machines.  Open a book or take a bath or both. Give yourself a retreat from the over caffinated 24-7 clutter of our electronic age.  It will refresh your mind and your spirit.  (Don't let yourself read more than a chapter --otherwise it will be 3:17 AM before you finish and that's really hard the next day trust me). 

Watch.  See how your life is rewritten when you aren't trying to be the author of all of it.  You will hear God's whispers in the softer tone of your family's discourse.  You will feel His breath in the warmth of your friends company.  You will hear God's voice.  How do we create a better world filled with salt and light, beauty and peace?  Start small. Start at home. Then, don't stop. 

1 comment:

LizEst said...

Nice blog. First time I've seen it.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!