$3 Worth of God
I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please,
not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep,
but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine.
I want ecstasy, not transformation;
I want warmth of the womb, not a new birth.
I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack.
I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
Amidst our routines, sometimes meaning gets lost in the motions of familiarity, even in sweetness of celebration.
Attending to mindfulness and spiritual growth, I’ve used studies and practiced various disciplines during Lenten times to lead me toward the new life promised at Easter. For more than fifty years, I have anticipated Easter celebrations, and I now find myself disillusioned and am embarrassed to admit that this holiest day of the Christian year has become customary, predictable, repetitive.
I read Wilbur Rees’ words and know that I have settled for $3 worth of God when Easter arrives. After my shouts of hosanna have faded and palm leaves litter the path, after I have fallen short of wakefulness at Jesus’ side in the garden, when I succumb to fear on the treacherous stones at Golgotha; when I have walked to Jerusalem in the Lenten days leading up to the discovery of miracle, am I then going to abandon Mary when she runs from the tomb as a changed woman, trembling with good news?
What holds me back?
What would it mean to have transformation, new birth? What revelation could explode my soul and inspire holy wonder?
I’ve confessed before that I plead with God to be obvious when working with me so that I will be aware of ‘sacred messages’.
So to strengthen my perception, I will practice noticing as a discipline through this Lenten season:
As a daily fast, I will restrict my consumption of ‘sweets’, intending that it will enhance my observations for the sweetness of living, not only of tasting.
I will regularly enter into quiet solitude to listen for God’s enlightening whisper.
When I feel the warmth of spring sunshine, I will recognize God’s loving embrace.
When I see tender green buds burst into profusion of colorful bloom, when I hear the trill of birdsong on the breeze, when the dark sky rumbles into drenching drink for our parched land, I will discover again God’s extravagant joy in creation.
Opening my heart to others, I will anticipate they are potential divine messengers with lessons to reveal.
In this particular Lenten season, I will breathe with expectation, hoping for discernment in the divine thread that weaves through my every day, pulling me closer to mystery, leading me forward to Easter.
As the days of holy week arrive, I will be traveling to New Mexico, an enchanted place where my soul is at home. Along with five fellow pilgrims, we’ll be attending a Good Friday service in an historic church in old town Albuquerque, then we’ll travel north toward Sanctuario Chimayo to meet the Easter dawn.
I will find rest in the sanctuary of high desert mountains. But what is this season for, if not to pick up a cross, to find something more than comfort?
How much God will I perceive? How much do I dare to receive?
I pray that the steps to Easter morning take me beyond an adobe sanctuary and into holy wonder.
Notice with me in the days ahead.