The Herb Of Grace

Theology and Poetry, Politics and Prose

Receiving The Day January 2, 2008

Filed under: books,public theology — Joel @ 6:17 am

Happy new beginning to all! I am glad to embrace yet another sublime reminder that we do in fact live in time and that we are in fact mortal. No amount of ammo, money, surgery, poetry, etc can remove us from our reality, blessedly mortal. We are not angels, nor were we ever meant to be or become them.

When i miss God in the person that is standing in front of me, i am not capturing Him by adequately thinking of the event to come (or more likely worrying if said thing will really happen the way i am daring to hope it will!). But when i am sentient (like a sentinel at the gates of a castle) enough to relax and receive the moment that is before me, a strange awareness surrounds me, the awareness that there is no other moment than this one. This awareness calls forth an appreciation for the things this moment holds, even when what it holds is pain.

The subconscious belief that we are actually immortal destroys the possibility of our receiving the day that is right in front of us (or the person who is right in front of us!) I think i am safe in this assumption, that the values of our present North American society seek to convince us that if we only protect this asset or rearrange that face, then we will have beaten down death once again. For behind the fear of chaos and violence and the fear of growing old is the fear of dying.

As a human, i have before me the untapped idea that each moment holds possibility. As a Christian, i have also the (sadly) untapped idea that God is filling and has filled everything in the earth with His glory, every moment pregnant with the miraculous normal that is overlooked in the hurry and worry this ‘present age.’

Receiving the day means to me that i can live with less sub-conscious under-the-skin worry that i will not finish everything today, because i will not! And this is okay because each day was meant to die, to live and then to burn in effigy, in praise and in welcome of the coming day. If i do not invest in this, i will be like the buisness person who was late for work because they kept looking for the next incoming bus, all the while missing the bus idling right in front of them.

If this line of reflection touches you, i would then recommend to you Dorothy Bass’ book, Recieving The Day: Christian Practices for Opening the Gift of Time, a lovely read. I would also recommend Wendell Berry’s eulogy poems found in every collection of his poetry, title beginning “eulogy for…”

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2 Responses to “Receiving The Day”

  1. jayskywalker Says:

    Wow hey I’m glad I stumbled across your blog. Great reading! I’ll try to pick up the Receiving the Day book. Best of luck to you in the new year!

  2. joel mason Says:

    thanks, the same to you!

    you will enjoy the book, may it slow you (us all) down.

    peace.


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