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As much as I love music, I just backed out of a choir performance.  The governing body of the Presbyterian Church is meeting in St. Louis in 5 weeks.  They asked for volunteers for a big choir.  We had to promise to learn all the music and make a regional and a dress rehearsal. Oh, and we aren’t going to tell you how much music or when these rehearsals are.

The last of the music arrived yesterday. Ten pieces.  Ten.  There is no way we can learn it without sacrificing the music for our own services unless we schedule another rehearsal every week.  The regional rehearsal is the same day as our family reunion.  If I go to the rehearsal, I’ll miss a day of family time with my father-in-law and the cousins and all their stories.

This choir gig was looking like something else altogether.  But I had said I was going to do it.

Fortunately, I sit next to the men.  Specifically, I sit next to my son.  Yesterday, his engineering class had to present their hovercrafts before the class. It had been a crazy amount of work but the four students who gathered on my back patio had a blast, building, waiting for glue to dry and presenting the hover craft. My son was the pilot and he stepped out in front of the group wearing a pirate hat.  His motto has always been have fun or why bother.

When the choir director held out this second packet of music I made eye contact with my son.  One arched eyebrow was all the question I needed.  Does this still sound like fun?

The crazy part is I almost didn’t let myself back out.  I had made a commitment.  But so had more people than they need.

So given the fact that I have way too much on my plate, I turned my music.  Honestly?  I felt a weight lift.

Purpose and joy.  I need to remember that.  Maybe I need to go find that pirate hat?

–SueBE

 

 

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“What is your intention for this practice?” That’s the question our yoga instructor asks before each class.  It might be to become aware of where our body is that day – each day is, after all, different from the one before.  It might be to become aware of our breath.  It might also be to simply take an hour focused inward vs outward.

Do you set an intention for your day?  A goal?  Or do you simply let it happen as it unfolds?

–SueBE

 

NH-Pluto-color-NewHorizons-20150713

The scientific community celebrated this week as an unmanned probe flew close enough to Pluto to take clear pictures of the planet.

But some were asking the question: Why spend money on the space program?

People here on Earth are hungry, they say. We need real-world projects funded. For instance, almost half the population of India and over a million Americans live without indoor plumbing.

How can we justify space exploration when so many problems exist here on the planet?

Like so many things we can’t explain to naysayers, it really is a leap of faith.

In my teen-age years, I spent some time as part of a Pentecostal church. On Sundays, there was quite a lively service, complete with congregants “speaking in tongues” and getting “slain in the spirit.”

Often, I’d look to my left and right, and see people in pews with heads tilted back, and they were just gone. They had a faraway look, and, if you spoke to them at that moment, they wouldn’t have been able to hear you.

What were they looking at?

This summer, the Grateful Dead will hold its final tour. The fans can’t always put it into words, but the swaying of their bodies and the joy on their faces says it all. The band speaks for them with their music. Troubles are put aside, and everyone agrees to get along and get lost in the moment.

What are they hoping to find?

We’re all looking for something that gives life meaning. Connection, community, kinship. Purpose, passion, promise. That place in the world where you feel at home. That place inside where you feel hope.

“We explore because we are human and we want to know. I hope that Pluto will help us on that journey,” said Stephen Hawking.

In other words, if we reach for the stars, we might find out something about ourselves in the process. We’re not so much traveling far into space as we are deep into the soul.

What are we looking for?

Does it matter? As long as we keep the faith and keep looking, with anticipation, the journey really is the destination.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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