Monday, June 23, 2014

divine bouts of wanderlust

Those who look to him are radiant
--Psalm 34

The big joke of senior year was Dove Chocolates.
Because Dove Chocolates have those really cheesy messages in them about usually things like: Be Your Own Valentine; or Chocolate Loves You Back When Everyone Things You're Rubbish; or Just Be A Human and Let Go of Worry and Eat Dove Chocolate Because Dove Chocolate Loves You;  Your Money; Dove Chocolate. Things like that. Sayings that I would say fall under the category of faux-advice that is helpful to no one.
But I saved them anyway.
Beating their wrinkled tinfoil surface into a beautiful flat, shiny sheet of small colored foil, I would use these little proverb-ed sweetmeat wrappers as bookmarks, as collage fodder, as gifts for other humans.
One of them hangs in the photo board near my bed right now, and it says something very simple:
Love What You Do.
Which, is a bold command, much bolder (I feel this is safe to assume) than the Dove Chocolate Wrapper Message Writers meant it to be. I could be wrong. For truly, maybe their intention was to tell us: life is not about a constant pursuit for Finding What You Love, and searching for that magic solution of a career that will Set My Heart On Fire with Energy and Enthusiasm for Life.
Life, truly, is about falling in love with the work of the moment: if the work of the moment is changing a diaper, or managing a company's finances, or listening to your really dull and frustrating co-worker ramble on about their weekend or sick cat, then you must fall in love with that.
Our mission is to find a way to fall in love with whatever task we are given to accomplish, to find a way to let love and life be present.
Our goal is to learn to love while living in any and every job we accept.
Love what you do.
Then,  I found this letter.
Sometimes, I clear out the piles of old papers: old notes from favorite classes, old lesson plans, old quotations marked on paper that is yellowing.
There, I found a letter-- not even half-written, never sent--that I had begun to compose for a friend. As I read it, I was struck by the memories of the day that I had been writing in the letter. The sunlight was warm, the air was chill, the basement of the house was too quiet, the whole day was rushed.
But even in the midst of that chaos, I had found the time to write a letter, and in the last half of that first paragraph I gush: I love this work. I can see myself doing this work. This gives me confidence, because when one narrows down one's thousand-storied castles in the clouds, full of possibilities, to one path, full of possibility, it becomes scary to find oneself doing one thing that at one point you thought you would and prayed that maybe you could hope to one day be in that position.
The courage to continue to fall in love with the work set before us comes from little messages--I'd say places like the Eucharist and the Sacraments, and those random snippets of sentences people just feel compelled to share to you sometimes--these messages are often found on shiny little pieces of wrinkled tinfoil, just waiting to spread their little message of hope and chocolate-laced happiness to all of us who approach them seeking epiphanies--even the ironic and flippant epiphanies.

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