Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!


This time of year always brings a smile to my face. I love Christmas. Like REALLY love it. I love lights, I love trees (especially the SMELL of trees) and I love getting together with family.

I have been reading a book called "Ruthless Trust" (again) by Brennan Manning (yes, I'm re-reading "The Tipping Point" via audio book still). This is one of those books that I DON'T use an audio book for. It's so incredibly powerful. It's the kind of book that you really really need to have in front of you on a page that you can see and let the words sink in. And have a pen in your hand when you do.

Brennan Manning is one of the few authors that, when I read, I can hear God's voice speaking to and nudging at my heart. It's not necessarily that his words are "the voice of God". It's more like the words I read, and the state I'm in when I read them, allows me to tune in.

As I was reading my book this Christmas Eve, a few phrases hit home - especially with all the hustle and bustle (3 Christmas celebrations down, 3 to go...).

"The music of what is happening can be heard only in the present moment, right now, right here. Now/here spells nowhere. To be fully present to whoever or whatever is immediately before us is to pitch a ten in the wilderness of Nowhere. It is an act of radical trust - trust that God can be encountered at no other time and in no other place that the present moment. .... Being in the now removes us from endless and fruitless self-analysis."

He then expounds on that slightly to talk about what that means in the "hustle and bustle", saying "Calm forsight regarding future engagements and appointments is responsible behavior, so long as it is not a compulsive escape from Nowhere." (all quotes from Brennan Manning's "Rutheless Trust", 2000)

How many of us compulsively escape from the "Nowhere" to dwell on the past or think about what will happen in the future? As I was putting on my makeup this morning, it just struck me how much I really do dwell on the future - especially how I will be perceived. I was loading on the eyeshadow - one of my favorites, called "amethyst" -- and I wondered to myself if my family would think it's "too much". Or if it was too matchy-matchy with my plum shirt. I hope that all sounds as pathetic to you as it suddenly did to me.

At first I thought "Sheesh. Live in the now! You wear it because you like it! That's all that matters". And then I thought about that. Am I sucker for pop-culture or what?! I can't even tell you how many ads I've seen this season talking about "This year, do something for YOU" or whatever - including a Mercedes ad. Apparently, it's snuck into my psyche as well.

I started to realize that I'd been missing the whole point of "Nowhere". It's not about what others think - that's the future thing. But it's not about me either. It's about being fully present.

So as you go through the craziness of today and tomorrow and all through these holidays, ruthlessly pursue Nowhere. It's the only place worth being. ;-)

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

1 comment:

Mabel said...

it was just perfect match with your plum shirt - wasn't too much! (grin) Mabel