Posts Tagged life

The Shiny Side Up – Rev. Susan Sparks

Hi y’all, welcome to the Shiny Side Up! This is the fifth week in our nine-part series on change:

The real you
Risk
Us versus the world
Shake it up
Too late? Never

Letting go
Earned respect.
A break. Take it
Possibilities

It’s a classic excuse: “it’s too late.”  It comes clothed in many versions: I’m too old, the opportunity has past, I’m just not up to it, I don’t want to learn something new, people would think I’m crazy, I’m scared.

We’ve all done it.

But here’s the truth of the matter: to refuse an opportunity saying “it’s too late” is a choice. You can chase your dreams at any age, at any time.  For example, F.X. Toole made his literary debut at 70 years old, his first novel being the basis for the movie Million Dollar Baby.

Many of us tend to think that we can’t change, saying things like “chasing this dream doesn’t make sense at my age,” or “I’ve already started down one road, I don’t want to have to start over again.”

No one said the path to your dream would be a straight line. Look at my road: trial lawyer to standup comedian and Baptist minister. In fact, one of the things I’ve learned as a performer and comedian is that the ending of your act is the most important part. Even if you bombed in the beginning of the set, if you give them your best material at the end, that’s what they will remember.

In life it’s the same thing. Even if you messed up in the beginning, or made choices you regret, or let opportunities pass you by, it’s not too late. If you give the world your best stuff at the end, that’s what they’ll remember.

Below you will find videos, my blog and a press piece that offer additional inspiration. Until next week when we talk about Letting go, keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down! –Susan

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The Unexpected – The Daily Cup – St Alban’s Church

 
By Anonymous on Aug 04, 2016 11:38 am

Last Friday night, I received a call that none of us want to get. An ambulance driver was calling me to tell me that my friend and neighbor had been in a very serious car accident. They suggested I come to the hospital. The accident could easily have been a fatal one for her.

As I drove to the hospital to be with her, I thought how precious, and yet how fragile, our lives are. And how unexpected events can end our lives as we know them. Events like car accidents, unanticipated and life-threatening illnesses, and wars that destroy people’s lives as they knew them; all these events can alter our lives and the lives of those around us.   My heart ached for my friend, but I also rejoiced in her survival, just as my heart went out to the refugees who shared their story with us on Sunday.

My friend today told me that she feels more alive now that she has in a very long time. She is grateful for the people in her life that that bring her joy. She’s focusing now on a “new normal” that is less focused on day to day worries and tasks–and more focused the people around her and on the positive aspects of her life that light up her life and the lives of those around her.

We heard on Sunday about the devastations of war that leave countries, cultures, and human lives changed forever. But we also heard the optimism of survival and intentionally going forward with courage and making new beginnings. In the refugee story and my friend’s story, I hear gratefulness for life and for communities of kindness and sharing.

One of my favorite books and a source for daily prayers is Celtic Benedictions by J. Philip Newell. The Thursday prayers include the following:

The vitality of God be mine this day

the vitality of the God of life.

The passion of Christ be mine this day

the passion of the Christ of love.

The wakefulness of the Spirit be mine this day

the wakefulness of the Spirit of justice.

The vitality and passion and wakefulness of God be mine

that I may be fully alive this day

the vitality and passion and wakefulness of

that I may be fully alive.

That we all may be fully alive to love and to life.    Que así sea.  (That it might be so.)

 

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Too Little Time by Matthew Hanisian

The Daily Cup

A daily cup of good news from the St. Alban’s Cafe.

← A Healing Place

Too Little Time

Posted on February 22, 2013 by matthewhanisian

Last week, on Valentine’s Day morning, at around 1:00 a.m. my best friend’s mother died.  I had been to see her mother earlier that night to pray and simply be present.  I received the call around 1:20 a.m. and by 1:45 a.m. was with my best friend and her father.  Her mother now lay at rest in a bed, the struggled breathing I had heard only hours before now gone, her body at peace.

Although the death was not unexpected, she had lived to be almost 90, there had been a rapid decline–only a week earlier she had been alive and in reasonably good physical health.  It was a true blessing to be there in that dimly lighted room; to be quiet, reverent…to anoint the body with holy oil, to pray together the Litany at the Time of Death (BCP 462) and to pray for her eternal soul.

Since then there have been dozens of cards and letters, flowers, well-wishers, visitors and phone calls.  The outpouring of love upon the family has come from around the globe, some from people who haven’t been in contact for years and years but felt compelled to, “tell you how much you and your mother mean to me.”

There is a blessing that crept into my mind on Monday and hasn’t departed.  It is taken from the words of the poet Henri-Frédéric Amiel:

“Remember that life is short and we have too little time to gladden the hearts of those who travel the way with us. So be quick to be kind, make haste to love, and may the blessing of God Almighty: Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you now and always.”

Life is short.  And, in the end, I wonder if we will have said to all of those who have been special in our lives, or kind to us, or who have taught us, or even loved us, that they are important to us…that they “mean so much” to us?  My guess is that we probably will not have said those things to even a fraction of the number of people who have had an impact on our lives in a positive way.  Why is it that we allow that to happen?  How much time does it take to write a quick note or letter, or even email, to someone to tell them that you are thinking about them and that they are special to you in some way?

“Life is short and we have too little time,” my brothers and sisters.  Take a moment and tell someone that is special to you that they ARE.  In doing so you are spreading this wonderful blessing and touching the life of another.

In Blessing and Peace,

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Fifty-Two Keys for Living, Loving and Working

Be optimistic

The sun will come up tomorrow. The flowers will bloom and the birds will sing. The direction of all life is growth. The South Carolina state motto translates, “While I breathe, I hope.” Every new life is a sign that there is a tomorrow. Each new minute is an opportunity to begin again. Remember that it is already tomorrow somewhere in the world.

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