Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. ~ Rumi
This beautiful quote by one of my favorite poets is especially meaningful to me this morning as I have been reading through the final printed proof of my newest book, The Language of Love. A book of ecstatic poetry in the Sufi tradition, it is my spin on contemporizing the attraction we all have for the great lover. I am planning to have the official release by the beginning of September, both for Amazon and Kindle.
Today is a defining moment in the history of our nation. I have already cast my ballot for the next President of the United States. And if you have not voted, I urge you to go to the polls before the day is done.
The future of our nation is being determined by our actions today. I know the kind of country I long for, and I know the qualities and values I want to see in my President.
It is also exciting to think that we are again making history. We have had eight years of strong leadership with our nation’s first African American President. Now, we can hopefully look forward to having our first female President.
Today is the day. Please vote. Nothing else is as important. Whatever else you do today, vote.
“If you can touch the world of beauty in the world of ugliness, then you can touch the world of suffering in the world of enlightenment. The world of enlightenment is within the world of suffering.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words in the English language, and yet it is one that we are culturally cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumptive society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things. — Elise Boulding
We live in a world obsessed with acquisition and consumerism. It’s an obsession that pervades every aspect of our lives.
In a world where more is better and “super-size it” is a way of life even a mention of frugality seems awkward and out of place. Yet Boulding is absolute correct when she points out that there is a far deeper happiness, even a true joy, in not having things.
The more material possessions we have, the more our life is controlled by them. We actually become the possessed rather that the possessor.
True joy can never be achieved through more stuff. Trust me on this. It is just never going to happen.
Here’s an easy challenge. Go through your closet and take out two or three shirts/blouses that you haven’t worn in a year (or three). Do the same with just a couple pair pants that you know no longer fit. Throw in a couple pair of old shoes you know you are never going to wear. Give them away.
Not only will someone in need benefit from your donation, you will experience the joy of giving. You will also have a little more room in your closet.
Repeat the challenge until you are comfortable with the idea that less is really more, and that frugality is indeed a beautiful word.
Most gracious and loving Creator, how thankful we are this day for all your blessings. We confess that far too often we live in a way that doesn’t demonstrate our gratitude for your goodness and your mercy. We are not as good stewards of your perfectly created world as we would like to be. We are wasteful of the gifts you have given us and take the beauty that surrounds us for granted. Forgive us.
Help us to be better stewards of all you have entrusted into our care. Grant us the insight to understand how closely we are connected to each other and all living things, and then grant us the wisdom and the grace necessary to live accordingly. Help us to walk more lightly on the earth that sustains us, and help us to share the abundant resources to have given us with all those most in need. And in all our endeavors, both great and small, grant that all we do brings you both glory and praise. Amen
Most merciful and compassionate God, we give thanks for another night of rest and day of beauty. You have kept us in safety throughout the night and have again gifted us with a day full of opportunity.
Today we pray for deeper understanding for those in need. Help us see through the differences and see the commonality that binds us together as your children. Help us see through the filth and get beyond the stink of hunger and homelessness to see the pure beauty of those you love with a love that extends into eternity.
Grant us sympathy that becomes empathy as we reach out to those waiting to be loved, those hungry for more than food, and those withering from the lack of a caring touch.
Today, may we see through the eyes of your son. May our every action reflect the love which daily sustains us. And may we have the insight to see the Christ in the face of every person we might meet. – AMEN
O Lord, We know that you are the great Creator, and that everything lovely and beautiful in this world has come from you. We praise your mighty name for the amazing works you have done on behalf. We come humbly to you, Father, and ask your forgiveness for our having spoiled the beauty and purity of your creation. For we know that our sins, and ours alone, have polluted and corrupted you world. Help us to repent of our sinful ways and to work to restore your world to its original glory. And yet, let us never worship your creation, but only you, the marvelous Creator and genius of the universe. Amen
[taken from for they shall be fed, edited by Ronald J. Sider]