| ANNE WILLIAMSON |
I see an America confused at its limits. After centuries of take, take, take, we're (slowly) waking up to the reality that this planet is not infinite. Earth has limits. Where once wages increased with productivity, now it's poverty, and millions suffer under the golden calf called the bottom line. People have limits too. And, even for the relatively wealthy, baked in a culture of more, more, more, we're beginning to wonder, "Are all these things and activities worth it? Do I have more joy? Do my neighbors?"
Instead of resisting these limits - hanging onto a familiar but crumbling model -, what if we embraced them? What if we chose to see them as the spiritual lesson they are? Time and resources and energies are limited. Maybe this is okay. Maybe it's even a gift. LEARN, LISTEN, LOVE...
Many ancient Judeo-Christian practices spoke to limits - most spectacularly for our time, Sabbath/Shabbat and the Jubilee. Sabbath, put simply, was a divine commandment - one of ten, in fact - to abstain from all work one day a week. The Jubilee year was a particular kind of Sabbath, occurring every fifty years and mandating all slaves be freed and debts forgiven. Traditionally understood as recognizing God as the Creator of time and property, and thus appropriately, offering these things back to God. Here too exists divine wisdom on the gift of limits.
It's not that the limited things - time, energy, property or stuff - are bad. It's that they don't bring us greater joy with growth. Their purpose, their spiritual lesson, is to teach us how to take what we need and only what we need, to learn to recognize "enough," so we spend more of our lives on the boundless things: love, joy, generosity, justice, bravery, meaning. These are the places where abundance matters. These are the things that get to grow when we lean into the gift of our limits.
What do you think? What's stirring in you? Keep listening and wondering...
I'm not certain what Einstein meant by this quote, but I love it in the light of this discussion. Sit with his words a moment. Read them aloud. What do you hear? Keep listening...
Out of what is stirring in you, set a loving intention for this coming week. Share it with a neighbor, God.
My offering comes from Barbara Brown Taylor's An Altar in the World:
Make two lists on one piece of paper. On one side of the paper, list all of the things you know give you life that you never take time to do. Then, on the other side, make a list of all the reasons why you think it is impossible for you to do those things. That is all there is to it. Just make the two lists, and keep the piece of paper where you can see it. Also promise not to shush your heart when it howls for the list it wants.
And, join WAYfinding this week as we give this intention a try and explore the gift of limits generally:
Wednesday, 7:00p - 9:00p
Wednesday, 7:00p - 9:00p (Mom's Group)
Thursday, 12:00p - 1:15p
Email me for locations. All in Broad Ripple/SoBro area.