Monday, December 31, 2012

Hey, we made it!

Glad to see you have survived the Apocalypse to get to enjoy all the holidays have to offer. I was thinking this is where I have to put the obligatory "year in review" segment. Lately, I've been receiving some signs that are steering me in a looking-forward direction than looking-back. So I will take this opportunity to share what that is exactly.

It is the idea of making the everyday or commonplace sacred. Allow me to share some places where it has popped up recently to show you where my reminders came from.

Father Mike's homily.

A text from a friend recommending an author.

A book that I had stopped reading that I was spurred to finish due to the aforementioned text message.

A television show.

My Christmas tree.

I'm not going to bore you with the details of each experience. I just wanted to demonstrate how the world is a funny place. I wasn't looking for the sacred or God in those moments (OK, well, I was at mass, but not in the way I was approaching it). Every single message literally, not figuratively, said, "Stop and look around, Bobby. Every moment is a chance to be "holy". No matter what you are doing, you are in the presence of God. Don't fetishize your faith. Let it be with you now, while checking your email, cooking dinner, playing with your dog, filling out a purchase order request. Stop and realize that nothing you do is mundane. You're life is a prayer and should be lived that way."

I obviously paraphrased a bit there, but let me clarify what I mean by "holy". Holy in this context doesn't mean good or well-behaved or pure. I think we've taken that word to mean something it doesn't in English. Holy really means closer to God. Perhaps I should make up a new word, Heidegger-style, like grace-filled, or God-sensing. The most difficult part is that it's really describing an emotion or a state of being and not an action. I've found that to keep one's consciousness in a particular state is the hardest thing there is. I actually feel it's what has kept me, and most people, from reaching a higher level of consciousness. We all have moments of profound emotion and thought elevation, but it is the rarest person, the saint if you will, that can sustain that level. With that I will leave to discover what that means for yourself. Happy New Year!