Friday, January 06, 2006

Simple Tasks which Make for Peace, Part 1

The boy woke up this morning around three with a stomach flu. Rough night for him. Poor little guy. I thought maybe we'd lucked out by getting our sickness over with before Christmas. Didn't anticipate a second round. Alas, Winter. Even where it's balmy, I guess.

Today I will concentrate on academic work. For the second day in a row. Yesterday I was able to make great progress on getting the reader together for next semester's course. In the afternoon I went through a few tutorials to teach myself Powerpoint. So it felt like an adequately productive day. Today, maybe I can get some things organized around the comps. And read a bit, taking notes, etc. Maybe I'll keep the same schedule and switch over to the powerpoint in the afternoon.

I receive quotes of the day from Real Simple magazine by email each morning. This morning's quote was from Mother Teresa:
"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."
Today I write about and will be doing the small things. It is a way of living into the balance.

When I read the quote by Mother Teresa, it immediately paired with some words from Julian of Norwich that I've had in my mind all week which I'd used in my sermon this past Sunday. Actually, I'm not sure exactly if they are original to Julian, or attributed to her in a play written from her perspective. (The quote comes from the book Birthing the Sermon in an essay written by Linda Carolyn Loving, who is referring to a one-woman drama, Julian, written by J. Janda.) Whomever's written them, the words have ministered to me all week. I'll share them with you:
And as for me in all this silence I suffered from noise, voices in my head . . . Accusing voices endlessly telling me that I was responsible for all the evil and suffering in England. At times I could not hear my self or anyone else . . . the voices, the accusing condemning voices--they grew louder and louder till I cried out to God that God in God's mercy would give me peace--to live, to stop the voices. God heard my cries, the voices gave way to silence . . . I could now stop my self-hating, my blaming, and turn my life to simple tasks which make for peace--my own--and others--and see, for the first time, the good in all--and see God in all.
And turn my life to simple tasks which make for peace. This is the phrase that is staying with me. Not grand things. Not weighty things. Simple tasks. That is what my day ahead shall be.

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