Thursday, August 19, 2010

With the world changing at breathtaking speed, how can you possibly keep up?

(cue tense yet upbeat techno music in the background)

BBC World Service, on Sirius/XM Radio, that's how.

Well, if I am to believe the "ad" on the"commercial free" service Sirius/XM provides.

Glad we've got that solved. Guess I better keep my Sirius/XM subscription up to date. Wouldn't want to not "keep up." The world really is changing at a breathtaking pace, after all. If I didn't believe that rationally, that techno music in the background certainly communicates a fairly frenetic sense that it might just be the case.

But is it, really?

Is the world really changing at breathtaking speed? 


And even if it is, do I really HAVE to "keep up"? 

What happens if I don't?

What if, instead of attending to the constant stream of change that can only take my breath away, I attend to the Everlasting whose breath gives life? And what does it look like to attend to the Everlasting in the face of the stream of change?

What if instead of attending to the stories the news and other media dish up, I attend to the stories of the people I meet today? And how does it feel to attend to these immediate stories instead of those the media use to demand my immediate attention?




What do I lose?


What may be gained?



Peace in Christ,


Taylor Burton-Edwards


Photo Credit: High Speed Lights, Public Domain.


6 comments:

Mike Mather said...

What does it look like to attend to the Everlasting? I'll give it a shot. De'Amon and I took a walk this evening - we stopped by Lee's house. Lee, his spouse, and their two sons live a few blocks from the church in what most people would consider the inner city. When we step inside the gate to his yard - we walk through chickens, live chickens. Lee takes us in the backyard to show us the tree house he is building for his sons. He offers us eggs from the chicken coop (I brought one home). While visiting, Joe stops by. Joe is 10 and lives 2 doors up the street. Joe just finished mowing a lawn down the street. He comes to tell Lee about it. Why? Because Lee is an investor. Joe borrowed $400 from Lee at the beginning of the summer so he could buy equipment to run his business. He owes $92 now. Joe is bright and full of energy and eager to tell us his business. Lee talks about his work schedule and the tightness of it - and both the joy and some of the tensions around the neighborhood. I wonder if Joe and Lee's neighborliness toward one another could be multiplied? I hope this shines a little light on it (in a place where most people only see poverty). I love that Lee sees Joe and invests in Joe and that Joe has met and honored that investment. How do we celebrate this type of neighborliness in the Church? The relationship between Joe and Lee is a joy to be around.

Mike Mather said...

Continued --
We walked down the street and saw Josh on someone's front porch -- talking with two other folks. They called out and offered a drink to us. Josh has grown up around here and now works in the neighborhood for the development corporation. He did an internship at the church for 6 months a year and a half ago. He is in his late 30's and many people wonder what he is going to do with his life. It seems like he is doing some good things this evening. And he does good things through his work - since he has taken over this job (the first person from the neighborhood to ever hold this job he has) he has helped the development corporation see and recognize the people he knows as his neighbors, but they only knew as his clients. The day began with a breakfast with a church member who is relentlessly looking forward - even as he faces a potential foreclosure this Friday (today). He talked with me about a person who cheated him, a business partner, and how they have faced each other and reached an agreement on going forward. He talked about how they then prayed together - this guy who had cheated him. I was challenged by that. I think of the prayer we prayer every Sunday at church "forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us..." mmm. mmmm. mmmm. Then off to lunch with a dear friend who recently moved back to town and is attending church and wanted to talk about how her faith can take root here. she says, "i'm living in the house i'm living in, because it has a big kitchen. i want to gather folks around my table eat and laugh and talk together." how do we lend our selves, our bodies to this woman's hospitality - so that others might receive and then share it? then i'm off to visit with a neighbor and parishioner. she's in her 80's. she's concerned about a 12 year old girl in our parish. she is worried that she is ripe for picking by a predator and she knows this young woman and her family situation. She does not come by these thoughts out of nothingness. she knows of what she speaks. she had found someone that she thought could help us think about this - seek discernment about this. We drive to visit this woman who she had heard about. We spent an hour struggling over what to do. I was both overwhelmed and so grateful to be talking about something so real - knowing that the ideas that were suggested regarding programs that maybe could help (Big Sisters, etc..) wouldn't really make the difference. So - we talked and asked ourselves - what does it mean to belong to each other? What has God put in our midst, in the lives of the people and the community involved that we can see and know the possibilities, the promise, the abundance -- NOT the easy answers - but the real journey of faith? It was overwhelming - but man was it good. The beginning of holiness is what it felt like. These were some of the people who crossed my path yesterday. Guess I didn't have time to attend to the media stories. Sorry.

Mike Mather said...

Continued part 2
We walked down the street and saw Josh on someone's front porch -- talking with two other folks. They called out and offered a drink to us. Josh has grown up around here and now works in the neighborhood for the development corporation. He did an internship at the church for 6 months a year and a half ago. He is in his late 30's and many people wonder what he is going to do with his life. It seems like he is doing some good things this evening. And he does good things through his work - since he has taken over this job (the first person from the neighborhood to ever hold this job he has) he has helped the development corporation see and recognize the people he knows as his neighbors, but they only knew as his clients.

Mike Mather said...

Continued - part 3
The day began with a breakfast with a church member who is relentlessly looking forward - even as he faces a potential foreclosure this Friday (today). He talked with me about a person who cheated him, a business partner, and how they have faced each other and reached an agreement on going forward. He talked about how they then prayed together - this guy who had cheated him. I was challenged by that. I think of the prayer we prayer every Sunday at church "forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us..." mmm. mmmm. mmmm. Then off to lunch with a dear friend who recently moved back to town and is attending church and wanted to talk about how her faith can take root here. she says, "i'm living in the house i'm living in, because it has a big kitchen. i want to gather folks around my table eat and laugh and talk together." how do we lend our selves, our bodies to this woman's hospitality - so that others might receive and then share it? then i'm off to visit with a neighbor and parishioner. she's in her 80's. she's concerned about a 12 year old girl in our parish. she is worried that she is ripe for picking by a predator and she knows this young woman and her family situation. She does not come by these thoughts out of nothingness. she knows of what she speaks. she had found someone that she thought could help us think about this - seek discernment about this. We drive to visit this woman who she had heard about. We spent an hour struggling over what to do. I was both overwhelmed and so grateful to be talking about something so real - knowing that the ideas that were suggested regarding programs that maybe could help (Big Sisters, etc..) wouldn't really make the difference. So - we talked and asked ourselves - what does it mean to belong to each other? What has God put in our midst, in the lives of the people and the community involved that we can see and know the possibilities, the promise, the abundance -- NOT the easy answers - but the real journey of faith? It was overwhelming - but man was it good. The beginning of holiness is what it felt like. These were some of the people who crossed my path yesterday. Guess I didn't have time to attend to the media stories. Sorry.

Mike Mather said...

Continued part 3

The day began with a breakfast with a church member who is relentlessly looking forward - even as he faces a potential foreclosure this Friday (today). He talked with me about a person who cheated him, a business partner, and how they have faced each other and reached an agreement on going forward. He talked about how they then prayed together - this guy who had cheated him. I was challenged by that. I think of the prayer we prayer every Sunday at church "forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us..." mmm. mmmm. mmmm.

Mike Mather said...

Continued part 5 (and finale)
Then off to lunch with a dear friend who recently moved back to town and is attending church and wanted to talk about how her faith can take root here. she says, "i'm living in the house i'm living in, because it has a big kitchen. i want to gather folks around my table eat and laugh and talk together." how do we lend our selves, our bodies to this woman's hospitality - so that others might receive and then share it? then i'm off to visit with a neighbor and parishioner. she's in her 80's. she's concerned about a 12 year old girl in our parish. she is worried that she is ripe for picking by a predator and she knows this young woman and her family situation. She does not come by these thoughts out of nothingness. she knows of what she speaks. she had found someone that she thought could help us think about this - seek discernment about this. We drive to visit this woman who she had heard about. We spent an hour struggling over what to do. I was both overwhelmed and so grateful to be talking about something so real - knowing that the ideas that were suggested regarding programs that maybe could help (Big Sisters, etc..) wouldn't really make the difference. So - we talked and asked ourselves - what does it mean to belong to each other? What has God put in our midst, in the lives of the people and the community involved that we can see and know the possibilities, the promise, the abundance -- NOT the easy answers - but the real journey of faith? It was overwhelming - but man was it good. The beginning of holiness is what it felt like. These were some of the people who crossed my path yesterday. Guess I didn't have time to attend to the media stories. Sorry.