“The principal is where kids go who are in big, big trouble,” said one kid in our Blessing of the Backpacks moment of worship last Sunday. Ever since, the phrase, big, big trouble has run like a caption on my mental screen. Earthquake in Iran . . . big, big trouble, Economic outlook . . . big, big trouble, Presidential elections . . . big, big trouble, Family crises . . . big, big trouble, Drought . . . big, big trouble.
On Monday I was playing around at home, cutting pictures and recipes from magazines and pasting them into journals, thinking about the fact that at 48 I am still playing with scissors and glue sticks and how someday my descendants will sigh as they haul crates of notebooks to the recycling center.
“In a world full of big, big trouble, how self-absorbed is it to spend my time I sit here cutting, pasting and playing with markers?” I thought. I didn’t realize I was praying until the response came, “Well there would be a whole lot LESS trouble if more people spent time cutting and pasting magazine pictures instead of wrecking things.”
There’s every chance, of course, that I heard the answer that justifies one of my favorite habits. Nevertheless - it got me wondering whether or not the world might really be better off if people, especially really powerful people, kept to themselves more, doing quiet, gentle things that made them feel happy and calm and restored. Then, when they began to breathe in public space again - their breath might be healing and restorative too. Their words, decisions and behaviors might be conciliatory instead of divisive. Over time, maybe, the trouble would be not quite so big and lessening all the time.
Instead of cutting up magazines, C.S. Lewis walked. In Suprised By Joy, he wrote that he never trusted a single thought he didn’t have while walking. What is your favorite holy waste of time? Whatever it is, find some time to do it today and think of it as a little breath of life, your own little way of cleaning up a spot of the world’s trouble. peace and prayers, pastor annette