Peace and Possibilities

I have a personal mission statement: To be an instrument of peace, through the tenets of courtesy, integrity, self-control, perseverance and indomitable spirit. It’s what I tell people if they ask. It’s in my bio on our business web site. It’s what I think about every day.

God is with me, but more, God is within me, giving me existence.
Let me dwell for a moment on God’s Life-Giving Presence
in my body, my mind, my heart, and in the whole of my life.

It took a few years of piddling around with a personal mission statement before I hit upon that one a couple of years ago. The first versions sounded all human-development-y and socially-conscious-y and personal achievement-y. They had good sentiments but they weren’t as authentically from my heart as they needed to be. They weren’t what drove me.

I was reading the Prayer of St. Francis, with which I was well familiar, and it hit me: “Yes, that’s what I’m about! Fostering peace in the world! How simple!” It’s been the yearning in my heart since I was a kid in the midst of volatile circumstances. It’s what has pained me when I’ve been in the midst of actions of fear and hurt happening. It’s what I want in my own life, and I want to be able help bring that to others and to the world.

So, OK, peace. What about the rest of that stuff in there? Well, I’ve spent the past 25 years practicing and teaching Taekwondo, and those are it’s five tenets, what our practice is ultimately all about, what we seek to develop through our practice and bring to our lives. It seems appropriate to be cognizant of living these out each day and in that, still, to help bring peace, versus, say, simply make a million bucks (not that it wouldn’t be cool to make a million bucks; maybe that needs to be in my mission, too).

By God’s grace I was born to live in freedom,
Free to enjoy the pleasures created for me.
Dear One, grant that I may live as You intended,
with complete confidence in Your Loving Care.

Shortly upon waking this morning, thinking of what I am grateful for and of living a day in accord with my mission, I had the flash-thought of “possibility.” I am to live in a way that is open to and steps toward my possibilities, of what I might become and of what I might do in the world — of what God might have me become and have me do in the world. And what do you know? I load the Ignatian Examen app on my phone and read today’s Presence element (the first italicized prayer inserted earlier in this post). Life-Giving-Presence is all about ongoing creation, newness, growth, bringing about the possibilities.

My mission: To be an instrument of peace and to live my possibilities. Hmmm. That might work, yes?

We all need to take time out from our daily chores;
We know that our bodies need a rest.
When we come into Your Presence
our hearts and minds are refreshed, our spirits lifted.

I thank God for these moments we have spent together and for any insights I may have been given.

First Delivery

As I begin this prayer, God is here.
Around me, in my sensations, in my thoughts and deep within me.
I pause for a moment, and become aware of God’s life-giving presence.

OK, we’re rolling! This is the official first post. (See the About page for a bit of background, if you’d care to.)

So, let’s start with the name of this blog. It means something. As I contemplated beginning the blog and exactly how to conceptualize it through the naming, which was important to me, I read an essay in the book, This I Believe. The very first essay, by Sarah Adams, is titled Be Cool to the Pizza Dude.  A lot of spirituality can be understood in that sentiment. It stuck. I think I’ll read it again right now . . .

I’m back; here’s the short list:

  1. Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in humility and forgiveness.
  2. Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in empathy.
  3. Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in honor . . .
  4. Coolness to the pizza delivery dude is a practice in equality.

I ask for the grace to believe in what I could be and do
if I only allowed God, my loving Creator,
to continue to create me, guide me and shape me.

Over the past couple of days I listened to an episode of the (HIGHLY recommended)  On Being podcast, titled Running as Spiritual Practice. It’s about running and it’s not about running; a small diversity of people share about their running practice and it’s place in their human-spiritual journey.  I’m not a runner (I did listen to it while walking the dog!) but I’m someone whose physical practices are an important part of my own human-spiritual journey, Three “captures” that made it into my Apple notes:

“Yeah, the best thing for you to remember is that the blessing is outside of your comfort zone.”

“The number one objective of my Olympic pursuit was to heal a broken soul.”

“. . . I’d been meditating for a number of years, not terribly successfully, and I began to notice that my running life and my meditating life were beginning to merge. One day, I came across an article about Thomas Merton in which Thomas Merton was quoted as saying that “prayer is the desire to pray.” And I didn’t really know about prayer as equating it with meditation. And so my notion of what prayer is about began to expand, because I imagine that God is most fully present with us at this moment, and to the extent to which you can find yourself in the present moment, then you’re finding yourself in prayer.”

Grant, O Lord, that I may be conscious and grateful
for all the good things you have given me.
May I share my blessings with others always.