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My Rubbish

My Rubbish

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 — Week of Proper 19, Year One

John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, 407

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 984)

Psalms 61, 62 (morning) 68:1-20(21-23)24-36 (evening)

1 Kings 21:17-29

1 Corinthians 1:20-31

Matthew 4:12-17

For God alone my soul in silence waits;

from God comes my salvation.

God alone is my rock and my salvation,

my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken.

How long will you assail me to crush me,

all of you together,

as if you were a leaning fence, a toppling wall?

(Psalms 62:1-3)

St. Helena Psalter

[God] is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption… (I Corinthians 1:30)

I have an incredibly easy life. A loving family. So many friends and good colleagues to share work. Good health. A great community. No enemies. No really significant problems. …Except. I let my “to do” list (and unanswered email) “assail me to crush me, all of you together, as if you were a leaning fence, a toppling wall.” As I write this, it even sounds like whining.

My crippling myth is that if I get a little extra time, and if I work hard and fast enough, I’ll catch up and get it all done. Somebody calls that “practical atheism.” It’s all up to me. I’ve got to do it, and if I don’t, nobody will, and… Well… Catastrophe!!

What rubbish.

That’s my personal version of Paul’s pre-Damascus Road pathology. Paul was trying to be perfect, and doing a pretty good job of it. But he suffered from performance anxiety and couldn’t relax, and just be. My performance anxiety is less compelling than Paul’s. At least he was anxious about pleasing God. I’m just anxious about my silly email/to-do list.

Stop. Quit. Surrender.

For God alone my soul in silence waits; from God comes my salvation. God alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken.

God is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.

So I relax. Center. Give it all to God. Then, do what I can, relaxed and connected, moment by moment. And leave the universe to God. Including my email and my to do list. (Seems like I get more done that way too.)

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