You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith, and hope. -Thomas Merton
The plan was to have a Saturday Morning Retreat today, but only 2 people could make it. As I sit in my bathrobe sipping warm lemon water at 2p.m., I am so grateful it was cancelled. I slept horrible last night. Sore throat. I feel like crud. I “slept” really late this morning. When I finally sat up in bed I was painfully aware that my sweet, beloved brain was used to having two strong cups of coffee by this time. o u c h When I am sick coffee is a necessity, but such a disappointment. It doesn’t taste right. I know that although my brain needs it, I know that it is probably not the best thing for me when I am sick. On mornings like this, I become painfully aware that drinking coffee has become essential. I couldn’t just not have it one day because I didn’t feel like it. Even when I am sick and it tastes foul —- I Have To Have Coffee. I know, I know there are many worse addictions in this world. Yes. Feel free not to send me all the articles proving how coffee is actually really good for you and helps you live longer and how Scandinavian women drink 8 gallons of coffee while pregnant and they all turn out great (this is exaggeration, obviously).
The retreat scheduled for this morning was called “Decisions & Unanswered Questions”. We were going to consider how we make decisions; the big & little ones. Some decisions feel really big, requiring research, planning, feedback, and soul searching; like buying a car or choosing a major in college. But, I’ve been through a few cars without much effect on me. I was a Speech Pathology major in college and that felt like a Really Big Life Changing Decision. But then I went to seminary in Chicago, got ordained a Lutheran pastor in southern California and that felt like a REALLY Big Life Changing Decision.
And yet here I sit in Champaign, Illinois, a yoga instructor with a dumb cold. And one of the biggest, most Life Changing Decision in my life seems to have been becoming a coffee drinker. All my other Really Big decisions have changed and grown into other decisions, and other decisions after that. But not drinking coffee. I don’t even remember when I started drinking coffee and made what would become a Really Big Life Changing decision.
Maybe you are reflecting on some choices you made this past year or are in the midst of discernment about plans for the future. It’s kind of the time for that. I’m doing it too. I don’t want to say that they don’t matter. But, maybe we trust that whole NAMASTE – sacred mystery – that is life. Trust that life and decisions and circumstances will just keep changing. And sometimes the choices we don’t even remember making or we didn’t exactly choose end up making all the difference. Who knows. It’s all a sacred mystery.
There have been some choices that I regret and replay in my mind over and over. It is the unanswered questions of decision making. What would have happened if? Why did I do or not do that? on and on… In response, I say Namaste On Repeat as I gently slide myself off that painful hook of self-doubt, regret, and shame. Namaste – honoring the sacred mystery – is the compassionate & humble reminder to myself that we are all doing the best we can in the moment we live it. It’s all a sacred mystery. We don’t know how the choices we make, or the choices anyone else makes for that matter, will change and shape our lives. Namaste.
I hope that 2019 is a kind and easy unfolding for all of us.
All the peace on your head, you.