Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | May 21, 2008

There Goes the Weekend…

One of the graces open to us in the Orthodox Church lies in engaging in dialogue with the saints and those sufficiently strong hearted to follow in their path. Through their stumbles and humble efforts, we learn that the road is less improbable than we would have it, and are encouraged to work on the little things rather than avoid the possibility altogether. Sadly no task is really too big if you break it down and get going – and they have.

Oh boy, have they. Wrote too many books, if you don’t mind my saying so. I mean, the nerve of wanting to tell me, “Pssst. Hey! You can do this, Dude.” And as we all know… smart ideas never begin with “Dude”… but they figured that out, too…. the sort of bothersome trick here is that they put “Dude” at the end of the sentence. Yeah. Right. Check it out, man. Not kidding: There goes the weekend.

I mean, the temptation here in the almost summer, here with a long weekend…. here… you know… yeah, you know what I mean. The temptation is to simply say it can’t be done; that salvation (or God) doesn’t exist. I mean the better part of the dialectic lies in the arguments on the side of dismissing the whole and going fishing, playing golf, reading the Sunday New York Times or just staying in bed…. right? I mean, trust me… after one hard week after another, sleeping in just this once… it isn’t just a spiritual experience, it’s saving the environment, the planet and the whales; it’s my humble part of doing what I can to help the world, hold down gas prices and feed the hungry; it’s keeping it real and chilling for world peace, right? Light a candle? Wear a ribbon?

Maybe not. Those doggone pesky saints seem to testify otherwise; testify to a different reality for flesh and blood; and lived different lives. Their lives, their words and their worship testify that the whole of this Christianity thing is eminently do-able. And the path forward lies in taking the heavens by storm… an utterance I would once have thought more appropriate from Milton’s Lucifer rather than from saints of the Orthodox Church. But there you are; and one after another seems to say the same thing: “Save your soul, and tens of thousands will be illumined.”

So the military has its endless drills, training exercises and wargames; we have our long services, our heavy calendar of liturgies, feasts, and saints days. We seem to find ourselves in a church where they know how to multiply worship like loaves and fishes. And all we can say is that either we’re completely out to lunch… or somebody must know something. So as they used to say on Hillstreet Blues, “Be careful out there.”

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