“Sunday Morning,” Thomas Waterman Wood, circa 1877
For Sunday, August 4, 2013
Year C, Proper 13
“Don’t be so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly good,” goes the popular expression. Yet as my good friend Dick Gorski puts it, this passage retorts: “It’s only in becoming more heavenly minded that you will be of any earthly good.” The former expression is grounded in a secularism that sees religious belief as separate and distinct from life in the real world. The latter expression is grounded in a Christian worldview which posits that only in bringing the kingdom of heaven into our secular experience will we find what we are looking for.
My own experience bears this out. When I set my mind on pursuing earthly things I’m never left satisfied. My personal favorites have been lust, sloth, and gluttony. Yet these earthly strivings have never come through for me. Which earthly things are your favorites and how have they worked out for you?
So how then do we turn our hearts and minds to the the things above? One key for me has been a daily quiet time with God. It’s just me and him. I read some Scripture (the weekly lectionary readings), I journal on these readings, and I pray. When I pray, I P.R.A.Y., meaning Praise, Repentance, Asking for Others, and then Yourself. Simple, really, yet profound in cultivating new heavenly habit to wage war against my persistent earthly inclinations.
I’ve been thinking about things above this week as we’ve worked to clean out my Mom’s apartment. She passed away May 10th. All through her apartment were tokens of her heavenly mindedness. Toward the end her mind wasn’t working very well, but the heavenly deposit she had cultivated endured and sustained her. I endeavor forward such that when I’m pushing the walker that the same might be said of me.
Some great thoughts here. I had not seen the P.R.A.Y. acronymn before. Sorry for the loss of your mother, but glad that her spiritual emphasis is to be found everywhere in her belongings. Shalom.
John, thanks much for your feedback. Shalom back to you.
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