Monday, February 19, 2018

The Egg Spins

You can tell the difference between a raw egg and a hardboiled egg by the way they spin.  You don't have to break open the egg to find out what is the composition on the inside, raw or hardboiled.  I think it might be the same with people, yourself included.  You can often tell what is on the inside of a person by the way they act on the outside.  People can identify their insides by saying they are "sober" or "filled with the Holy Spirit," "at peace," "a Buddhist, Christian, Jewish believer," but watch how they act.  How do they spin through their day? What do they do on the outside?  I am more interested in listening to someone who acts like the good they say is within them, than hypocrites, whose action belie what they say they are.  The persons whose outsides attract me the most are those who treat others as their equal, or treat others well.  It shows in kindness, compassion, and being generally of service.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Happiness Industry

The Happiness Advice Industry points to contentment as an internal, personal quest, separate from other people.  America The Anxious, by Ruth Whippman notes this in her book.  Some amount of solitude is important for a healthy life, for prayer, reading, yet Whippman points out that all the research agrees that happiness depends on interaction with other people.  I see this even in the monastery.  The happiest, most content monks seem to be the ones that have sufficient time with other monks.  They are not hermits.  Interaction in your own life can come from family, co-workers, being part of a group that tries to help others and even chatting with someone while waiting on line in a groceery store.  I have found that being of service for others promotes my own happiness.  And I am an introvert.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Hope!

Continuing from the last two blogs on the lost bag and lost life, God had been at work, though I was short on hope, trust and belief.  The bag had everything in it, untouched.  Why was it left at the information desk of terminal A?  I would never have thought to go there or ask.  The Southwest agent told me to go to Terminal A.  Why would she bother to do that? Then I asked twice at information for help.  I don't usually do that.  Now I hurried back to the plane with my three shoulder bags.  Don't do three shoulder bags!  When I got to the gate that same agent was still there.  All the passengers were on.  She gave me the last boarding pass.  The flight was not quite full, a rarity at Southwest.  When I went through the gate, they closed the door.  Two minutes later and I would not have been on that flight.  When I entered the plane, there in the third row was a nice middle seat between two ladies, and overhead space for my bags.  If I had a suitcase it would not have fit.  I may be bad, but God is gooder.  I think God wanted me to be in Florida to teach and preach.  I hope so.  But I have become the little old man who leaves a bag on the tram.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Lost Life

OK you came back for the rest of yesterday's drama.  Suddenly, as hope was leaking away from my psyche, a second agent came to the counter and asked if she could help me.  I said, "I cannot get onto this plane.  I lost my bag."  She was sympathetic, cancelled my reservation and put me on standby for a much later flight.  I am not going to Florida, I thought to myself, not today or even this month.  But the agent said something to me that I would not have otherwise done, though I had no real plan, beyond go to security and find lost and found.  She said, "Don't go all the way back to the main terminal.  Go back to the first plane terminal, "A" so that you don't go outside security. Then you can go to security from there."  OK, though I was not hearing all of what she said, being in shock, and having cardiac issues.  I walked back up the long corridor and onto the tram.  I got off at Terminal "A" and went upstairs to the main floor.  There was the usual information desk that sometimes has an attendant.  There was a fellow there at that moment.  I, being a man, was not going to ask for information, but my feminine side, or Holy Spirit, had me go up and check on how to find security.  He directed me and I began to walk away.  Something told me to go back and say I had lost my bag.  I was going to ignore the urge, but then decided to go back and tell him, "I lost my bag on the tram or security."  He turned around and pointed to five bags sitting in plain site on a counter of the information booth.  One of them was my yellow bag...to be continued

Thursday, February 15, 2018

My Life Is Over

I have become a little old man.  I was to fly to Florida to do some work.  I did not bring a suitcase.  I carried three shoulder bags.  One of the bags contained my computer, my iPad, and wallet/money.  I got through security and then onto the Denver tram to take me to terminal C.  I got off the tram, and walked the long corridor to my gate.  I had a great Southwest boarding number.  I am an "A List" guy now.  So I was going to get a good seat and storage for my three shoulder bags.  I decided to take out my wallet and money and put those things into my pockets for the trip.  I took off one shoulder bag, and then another.  I looked down.  I have three bags.  Where is bag number 3, with computer, iPad and wallet/money/credit cards?  I felt around my back.  No bag.  I did not go crazy and scream or throw a fit.  I went into shock. My life is over.  I am not going to Florida or anywhere.  I don't even have money to get back to Boulder from the Denver airport.  I hurried back to the bathroom to see if I left the bag there.  Fat chance.  No bag.  I went back to the Southwest gate counter to cancel my reservation so that I would not lose use of the ticket.  A man in front of me was taking forever with the one Southwest agent at the counter.  God is punishing me.  I have been bad.  But then I am praying to said God and St. Anthony, Mary and all my saints.  To be continued tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Conflict

So what happens if you made Lenten resolutions but have a sweetheart?  You have a dilemma.  Today is Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day.  If you made resolutions for Lent, today especially is a day of fast and abstinence, no meat and eat light with no treats between meals.  So you go out with your sweetheart and you have a smudge on your forehead.  You say, "I love you but tonight I have a dirty looking face and we can only eat a salad with no wine or dessert."  You had better hope your sweetheart is OK with Lent.  Maybe they want steak, wine, Chocolate Mousse and Latte.  You, being a mere mortal will lose all your resolutions on the first day of Lent.  You cannot just sit there and watch them eat, while you eat your lentils!  Of course, if you have no sweetheart than all this is mute.  You can enjoy your spinach alone.  Oh, and don't wear white shirts and blouses, dresses if you are going to receive ashes on your forehead.  If the ash is not moist enough it will fall down from your forehead onto your nose and then onto your clothes.  Warning:  beware of dry ashes.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Time

I was reminded from the book on meditation, The Cloud Of Unknowing, that "nothing is so precious as time."  When you might think that you have nothing much to offer to people, remember that you do have "time."  When you listen or are otherwise helpful, it takes time, your time.  Many of us think that the best thing we can offer to people in need is money or material stuff.  Though this may be needed we often take from our surplus when giving $$ charity.  Time never seems to be in surplus in our lives, so it becomes a real sacrifice.  Meditation is the offering of time to whoever our God or Power greater than ourself is.  So too is spiritual reading.  When we say, "I have no time," this may very well be true.  Time is precious.  To give it up for a relationship is usually because of love in our heart.  Love will change us more deeply than will charity, or the perceived need of others.