Friday, May 13, 2011

Imperfect birds

So many of the people I encounter, either in the Church or in the university setting, push themselves hard, holding themselves and others to a standard so high that it encourages an obsessive drive for perfection.

Last weekend, my body sent me a clear message to stop this insane perfectionism. Is it so hard to be content with doing our very best, and praying to do better? We're human, and humans make mistakes, don't always get things done, offend others when it's the last thing intended.

This line from Anne Lamott's newest book, Imperfect birds, stands out, and I'll share it here: "Rae had once made a room-sized weaving for Audubon's Bolinas Lagoon Preserve, of egrets and herons nesting in redwood trees, and Elizabeth remembered now the secret ribbon woven into one branch, which bore the words of Rumi: 'Each has to enter the nest made by the other imperfect bird.'"

Monday, May 02, 2011

Only a boy

"Then I said, 'Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.' But the Lord said to me, 'Do not say, I am only a boy; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you.'" (Jer. 1:6-7)

This passage leaped into my mind when I learned yesterday that our bishop has asked me to preach at this week's clergy conference. If there's any more intimidating setting, I don't know what it is. At the recent Chrism mass, I recall thinking as I watched a colleague ascend the steps to the pulpit, "Glad it's not me! Tough crowd!"
Ha. So it is that many of us take our turn, at least one of us each year when we come together at the retreat center. So, if you're reading this, please offer up a prayer that the word of God, the mystery of God, and the love of God may be revealed through my speaking.