Wednesday, June 30, 2010


 Oh Lord.  My older son, Cole, left this week on a sojourn.  A college graduate, smart as a whip, compassionate and wise---he is off to find out what he wants to to do with the rest of his life.  The business for which he has worked for eleven years was sold.  Now real life shows up calling again, "Who is it that you really want to be in this life?" 
It was a tender and touching moment to watch Taylor give Cole a hug as Cole loaded his backpack and other gear into his truck.  Taylor said, "My brother. Trip."
That's all he knows.  Actually, that's all any of us knows.  I watched those tail lights leave down the alley behind our house and I said out loud, "Go forth into the world in peace. Be of good courage."  And then I sang the Rutter anthem I know that is built around that text.  I sang it all day and I wondered and worried that I have not prepared either of my boys to live this life in their full magnificence.  (Is that creepy to say? Ooey--gooey bag kind of question?) I wondered that about them because I ask myself the same question every single day, "Am I living my life to its fullest magnificence?  And, if I'm not, what is holding me back? Where is the fear blocking me?"  (Yes, I am huge reader and supporter of Debbie Ford.  Google her and her work.  Phenomenal!)
I have not climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. I have not paddled the Amazon.  I have not been on all seven continents.  Some days---most days, my adventures seem so small in comparison to those who are "really living."  But wait.  Hold.  Put your brain on pause.  What about the life-changing journeys that many of us try to take every day?  Do they count? 
I love the text from  Book of Common Prayer. Wherever we find ourselves at this very exact moment---these are powerful guides for living---in magnificence.
I ask huge are  these assignments/journeys in our very real lives:
1. Go forth into the world in peace. Your world---the minute you wake up, you are in your world. Before you even get out of bed, you are in your world.   Enter it in peace.  This might be a little like sailing the Indian Ocean on a raft. 
2.  Be of good courage.  Be brave. Do what your gut tells you.  Follow the inner spirit inside of you.  It will always lead you to your best path.  Ok, that's a Mt. Everest climb for me.
3,  Hold fast to that which is good; render to nobody --"not no one" evil-for-evil.   A trip to Antarctica anyone?  I mean, how hard is this assignment? I could ice trek Antarctica more easily than I am willing to give up rendering evil for evil. I mean, my feelings really get hurt and I get mean. And you?
4.  Strengthen the faint hearted.  Support the weak. Help the afflicted.
Sounds like a full time job to me.  Oh yeah, right in our own worlds---wherever we find ourselves---in the bank, on the subway, on a hike, on I-95,  at Macy's, at work, in our own kitchens with our own families. 
5.  Honor all people.  Ahem.  Even the homeless.  Even ugly people.  Even people with rashes and warts and not-so-smart people--even people who use food stamps illegally or cheat the IRS.   That means we can't even make a hidden list of people we don't feel like honoring.   Oh, doing a tri-athlon is sounding easier and easier than honoring all people----when we go forth into the world----in peace.

 In closing (don't you just love to hear those words in a speech---that's why I threw them in just now) the best way for me to teach my own boys is to live my own life the best I can.  They'll catch on.  Anyway, talk's cheap.  Watch what I do.
It's a challenge worthy of National Geographic Explorer proportions:  Go forth into the world (Kroger, neighborhood, bank, dentist, nail salon) in peace.
And all the rest of those things.  Huge inner journeys take us far. Sort of like climbing a mountain or sailing around the world---Be of good courage.
You don't really even need a backpack. 
Let's all meet out there in the world as we journey. 
You'll recognize me. 
I'm the one struggling---but willing. 
Oh, I hope my sons know this.