John 15: 1-8
“I am the vine. . . . Remain in me.”
To what or to whom do you stay connected? Is it a good connection? Is it a connection that feeds you, one that nourishes your spirit, one that gives you joy and life? To what or to whom do you turn to when the chips are down?
If I am to be honest, I have to say that sometimes I turn to things or people that are not the best for me. My spirit ends up further eroded. Gratefully I eventually return to the Source that does nourish my spirit in good ways – and people that share and support that connection.
When I remove myself from my Source due to busyness, worry, compulsive behavior and the like, I begin to whither. I can literally feel the life force drain from my body. When I seek to re-establish that connection I feel the life force return.
To what, or to Whom are you connected? Is it a good connection?
Remember a time in your life when you were just running and running and barely had time to eat, a time when you just grabbed this or that to eat and then just kept running? Remember how you felt? When I have done this, I quickly begin to feel out of sorts, lacking in energy and passion. I feel like I’m existing, just making it through, instead of living and taking life in.
The same is true of our spiritual lives. Lately I have been very busy and barely have taken time to pray and meditate, which is very unusual for me. Just like a lack of food, this lack of spiritual food quickly makes me feel off kilter, lacking passion and ungrounded. I am reminded again of the importance and VALUE of taking this seeming waste of time. Eating food can also seem like a waste of time, but if we don’t take this time, we quickly begin to whither.
Are you eating well?
The other day I was flipping through the channels and landed on CSpan. They were televising the Values Voter Summit, held last week in Washington DC. The portion I caught was a speech by movie star Stephen Baldwin in which he was waxing eloquently about all the evil in the world and particularly Hollywood, all the trash that they’re coming out with and that our kids are seeing. I was taken back by his rhetoric and his evangelical tone, which I admit gives me hives. Despite this I stayed with it. He made a particular statement which disturbed me. He said that he often fights with his “liberal” buddies in Hollywood about shows and movies that are being created and aired. I felt saddened that the support of violent, sexually explicit, shallow, trashy programming was identified with being “liberal.” I don’t think it is a liberal or conservative thing. Liberals are indeed much more prone to freedom of speech and expression; but do they not also care about quality, the cultivation of culture and good, solid formation and education for our children?
I certainly would not agree with much of what this conference was touting. Unlike them I would support family values to such an extent that I would support ALL families, straight, gay, lesbian and the like. I would support marriage to a greater extent than they do in supporting all who wanted to make a life time commitment, no matter their sexual orientation. My stance on supporting life would also include being against capitol punishment and supporting war in only the most rare circumstances. And I would interpret Scripture taking into account its historic and cultural context – and not literally as they do.
AND, although I highly support freedom of speech and expression, I, like them, would greatly discourage a lot of what is aired on television and in the movies. What we put into our minds affects the way we live and act. We certainly are aware of this when it comes to children, but are we aware of it as adults? I know that there are certain things I do or watch that I would do much better not to.
What good food am I giving my mind and spirit each day? What good soil am I providing for the seed that is my life? Is what I do, how I spend my time and what I watch adding something to my life and character? Is it life giving?