I like “Law & Order,” the police and courtroom drama that ran for more than 20 years and can be found in syndication on countless cable channels.
One of those networks is WE TV, which I think is Women’s Entertainment Television. They often have back to back L&O episodes and even though I’ve seen most of them I stop and watch anyway.
Viewing them on WE also means I get lots of advertisements and clips for upcoming reality shows. These must be WE TV’s bread and butter because there are a lot of them! I should confess I loathe reality TV shows. Mostly because they aren’t real but are usually really bad.
“House wives of…, Little Women of…, Bad Girls of …, Marriage Boot Camp, LA Hair…” The list seems endless and almost every time one of these commercials come on I ask my wife, “Who watches these shows?” and she replies; “plenty of people, which is why they keep making them.” The fact is they wouldn’t broadcast reality TV shows if nobody watched them.
Then it dawns on me that there are folks surfing through the channels, come across Law & Order, and ponder; “who watches this show? how was it on for 20+ years?”
Sigh. We are so easily persuaded that our tastes, likes and dislikes, preferences, judgement of what’s good and bad, are more worthy than others. We draw lines, give litmus tests, and set up boundaries of what’s acceptable and not.
Reality TV may not be our thing but a reality check on our biases should be required viewing.
“There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.” #TeresaOfAvila
Prayers, like desires, can be tricky things.
In high school I dated a young lady who was one year younger than me. When I graduated and went out of state to college my prayer was that we’d be able to have a future together… didn’t happen. I still remember standing in a corner phone booth on the university campus getting my heart ripped out as she had her mother tell me it was over. Ouch.
The pain and suffering of losing someone in such a harsh way left me deeply wounded. I thought seriously of leaving school and doing my best John Cousack, “Say Anything” impersonation outside her window. I felt my prayers were not only unanswered but ignored and this made the rejection even harder to bear.
Months later I met my wife Beth. She wasn’t what I had prayed for but to this day, almost 25 years later, she’s exactly what I need.
What we think we want, what we think we need, may in fact be that which puts our souls at great risk, in harm’s way.
Sometimes our salvation, the salvation of those we hold dear, can’t be found in the prayers we pray or the answers we seek.
“You can only come to the morning light through the shadows.” -The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
I miss the sun, its light, its warmth, its penatration.
A slow moving “trough” (AccuWeather term) of wet, gloomy weather has settled in over the Southeast region the last few days. My mood matches the atmosphere.
When I got up this morning I could hear the rain still falling on the window. An exasperated sigh escaped my mouth before I could do anything about it.
Overcast days get me down, always have. I wonder; “Is the sun still up there? Will I ever bask in its light again?”
The water is needed, life requires nourishment, growth insists on sun and blue skies, rain and dark clouds. Not just one but both.
“It is here, that love is to be found – not hidden away in corners but in the midst of occasions of sin. And believe me, although we may more often fail and commit small lapses, our gain will be incomparably the greater.” #TeresaOfAvila
To travel the path of wisdom teaches us humility and helps us arrive at certain truths.
One of these is the realization that we are fallible people. There is no perfection. One step forward, many steps back.
Our humility becomes greater because of our many failures and slowly we come to grips with how shallow, petty, and egotistical we can be and often are.
It takes great trust and wisdom to believe that from our lapses, struggles, sin, maybe even because of them?, we can get to a place not reachable any other way.
This was the last song of worship yesterday which followed a message on Sabbath and resting…
I’d never heard this song before but it had me when I read the title.
“Come and find the quiet center in the crowded life we lead, find the room for hope to enter find the frame where we are freed… “
I am staring down the barrel of an incredibly busy week. It’s raining outside. My work can’t be done in the rain.
In the rhythm of the downpour I seek the center, the place which reminds me;
“All shall be well and all shall be well, and all matter of things shall be well, be well.” #JulianneofNorwich
“And the most precious of all the gifts of nature or grace is the desire to be hidden and to vanish from the sight of men and be accounted as nothing by the world and to disappear from one’s own self-conscious consideration and vanish into nothingness to the immense poverty that is the adoration of God.” Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation, p. 174
“… to vanish into nothingness…“
What a wonderful quote from Thomas Merton.
In a world where folks do almost anything to be noticed, to get their 15 minutes of fame, to gain recognition and adulation, a person who goes in the opposite direction is rare.
Yet wisdom tells us it is in humility, the denial of self, the acceptance of the limits of our knowledge, the realization of the ignorance of our opinions, the futility of our labels and judgements, that we discover truth, that we find ourselves and the One who is existence personified.
This painting is named; “The Astonishment of Sisoes.”
It is both a commentary and a contemplation on death, not only of man, but of earthly empires.
It was painted following the fall of the Byzantine Empire in the 15th century and shows St. Sisoes, at the tomb of Alexander the Great, standing over the bones of this once great ruler, with the following inscription:
“SISOES, THE GREAT ASCETIC, BEFORE THE TOMB, OF ALEXANDER, KING OF THE GREEKS,WHO WAS ONCE COVERED IN GLORY.
ASTONISHED, HE MOURNS FOR THE RAVAGES OF TIME AND THE TRANSCIENCE OF GLORY, AND TEARFULLY DECLAIMS THUS:
‘THE MERE SIGHT OF YOUR TOMB, DISMAYS ME AND CAUSES MY HEART TO SHED TEARS, AS I CONTEMPLATE THE DEBT WE, ALL MEN, OWE.
HOW CAN I POSSIBLY STAND IT? OH, DEATH! WHO CAN EVADE YOU?‘”