My Chicago Home

My Chicago Home
How can we best live as modern, active contemplatives where prairie meets city?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Stepping into bloggy waters

At a recent writer's workshop, Charlene Ann Baumbich (author of 15 books, poetry, and magazine and newspaper articles), presented on "Writing Funny." After she got us all laughing urging us to bring humor into our writing, Charlene challenged us to boldly go public via web pages, blogs, and tweets.

"Writers are often introverts by nature," I pointed out. "How do we transition into a more public life?"

Her reaction? "Get over yourself!" 

Charlene also asked the crowd of about 100 writers, "What is your platform?"

I've pondered that for three weeks. Could my platform be "forgiveness?" Or, "living contemplatively in the modern world?" Then, I remembered. I've often thought I would love this epithet on my tombstone: "She lived joy!" (Not that I currently epitomize joyful living, but wouldn't it be great to someday earn such an epithet?)

Instead of choosing one "platform," I'll focus on three:
1) Forgiveness, because we all have so much to forgive
2) Contemplation, because our world is too noisy for sane living
3) Joy, because we were created for this!

"Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life," reads Luke 21:34. Allowing mundanities of life to drain our joy is listed in the same breath as "carousing and drunkenness."

Yet, how can we live joyfully, when we're bone dry, when our days are cycling us through early morning awakenings and league-long lists of duties?

If we were true "phenomonologists" in the philosophical sense, we would see each moment as pregnant with meaning. We would reflect on our existence and find deep joy in each activity.

I'm not there, yet. But years ago, on the inside cover of my Bible, I wrote these words from the Book of Zephaniah 3:17: "The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty Savior, He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in His love, He will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals."

Whether it's in forgiving my enemies, contemplating the deeper meanings in life, or simply choosing to live each moment joyfully, I would love to make God sing...

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