Monday, November 14, 2011

The Empty Roll

In the realm of the spirit we soon discover that the real issues are found
in the tiny, insignificant corners of life. Our infatuation with the "big deal"
has blinded us to this fact.
The service of small things will put us at odds with our sloth and idleness.
We will come to see small things as the central issues.  Fenelon writes,
"It is not elevation of the spirit to feel contempt for small things.
It is, on the contrary, because of too narrow points of view
that we consider as little what has such far reaching consequences."

                                                                Richard Foster  Celebration of Discipline 

It is a mystery every time I find the empty toilet paper roll or one with a new roll leaning on top of it against the wall.  I don’t ever remember signing a charter claiming to be the sole changer of the rolls, after all, it doesn’t require a manual.  But again and again, there it is glaring at me in any bathroom.  This bafflement has given me wonder, after little sleep, about a variety of theories on human behavior as to why this one simple act is so neglected and left for another. I have found nada consolence which leads me to ponder larger issues of irresponsibility that have us turning our good eyes away from the tasks at hand to serve God throughout our moments. Given the opportunity to do some small act of justice do we dig in or leave it for some other to change?  Do we choose being kind over being right?  Do we take a plate of food to a friend who is struggling, take the time to call a lonely neighbor to say hello, hold the door for someone with a smile, brush dirt from a child’s knees, scrub the pans before another meal is cooked for the hungry, bend down on our creaky knees throughout our day and evening and night to worship and pray to our Lord and God? I am among the guilty and can throw nothing.  I have left responding with love to others too often.  I have so many times traded extraordinary ways of living for self-centered and ordinary ones: clinging to His gifts instead of releasing my stronghold and allowing His grace to flow through: to receive all as gift and then become the giving.

I am so thankful that our Lord did not abandon His mission on earth in pursuit of us sinners but said “Yes” to God’s will. Yes to drink the cup of judgment for all of us. Yes to following us down into the darkest depths of humanity to save us.  He could have left the cross and its’ horrible death to someone else, but to whom? Who would love us that much? Who would pour every last bit of themselves out, to cry out in agony from nails and a tree, to empty their very life for us? Why can’t we choose more often to say “Yes” to His Gospel living and begin each moment to find its applications in our lives, in the ordinary minutes of our days. To praise the glorious sightings of God’s creations and miracles as well; to praise and worship our Father for His excessive love and grace He gives us continuously.  May we do our part wherever we find opportunity to serve others and God: to bend our will toward Jesus in His many disguises presenting over and over throughout our days and nights.  May we say “Here I am Lord, send me.” 

Where in my life have I left the “roll” to someone else?
It presents itself again and again.

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