Thursday, April 21, 2011

Is the “Wonder” missing?

The ‘awe in a relationship”... have you lost it?

Do you catch yourself taking them for granted? Familiarity can lead to dullness. Not disrespect, but just missing the enjoyment of the honor and specialness of a person or a place.

This was brought to my attention at a funeral of a friend as I watched the priest go through his usual role leading his congregation through the rituals they were used to.
I have talked to Father Jay Kythe of St. Pius Catholic Church in Cannon Falls before. I am not a member of his faith. But that does not limit his graciousness to me.

But he’s not the first priest to be kind to me. I remember another one years ago who was always available to explain a ritual to me. One time I came in asking for the meaning behind the stained glass windows. He motioned me to follow him across the sanctuary.
I wanted to be careful that I didn’t step anywhere that might be considered holy to his faith and that I was ignorant of. So I made sure I followed him very closely.
It turned out... almost too closely!
You see, I didn’t know he was going to genuflect (drop to one knee) as we crossed behind the altar... and so I had to make a quick stop while trying to balance myself so I didn’t topple right over on him! He never knew (I don’t think!), but I’m still chuckling to this day!

So with this history I watched Father Jay during the service.

Each time he made a reference to God I was fascinated by the awe and reverence he showed. And I wondered how many hundreds of times he must have said the same words... made the same gestures at the altar... and yet he could still express such honor to his creator.

You see, I also follow his creator. And I have a feeling of closeness with God.

But unlike Jay, I realized that I had somehow lost the feeling of awe.
As Jay explains: “My relationship with Jesus is that He is my brother and a close friend, someone whom I love very much.... Not only do I choose to love Him, but I try to see how He loves me in small and big ways every day.

“I thank Him for those acts of love He does for me. It could be something as small as the sunlight filtering in through the window to seeing the charity in the heart of someone I meet...

“The way I do my acts of love for Him is by praying every day, reading the Scriptures, and simply just talking to Him daily.

“Also whenever I extend a hand of charity towards someone else, I extend it to Him ("Whatever you did to the least of these little ones, you do for me").

So you see, thanks to the example of Father Jay... the awe is back for me too.
The kind of awe and wonder that I see again in a new baby... a flower... a sunrise... a friend... and God.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

The “Good” and “Bad”
about a small town...

Growing up in the “Big” city was good. Although I really didn’t have anything to compare it to. It was all I knew.
The prevailing idea was that you had more advantages in the “Big” city than in a small town.
After some 30 years living here, I am questioning that concept a bit.

Surprisingly, by growing up in a small town you can be more confident in public affairs. You see, in a small town you may grow up next door to the mayor or a bank president. And you know a lot about your neighbors in a small town!
(It seems like in a small town they either know what I’ve been doing or they think they know... and the latter might be a lot more interesting!)

Anyway... the result is that you’re not going to be in too much awe of someone’s title because you’ve already seen them cleaning up dog droppings in their back yard!

So I’ve jotted down some of the “Good” and “Bad” things about living in a small town.

The “Good” is that you have easy access to public meetings to get basic knowledge on government and parliamentary procedure. I saw a teenager speak to the local city council and do a fine job. When I had to present my concerns another time I didn’t do as well. I found my right arm was shaking so much that I thought everyone could see it. In talking with my friend the mayor afterwards, he grinned and said he saw it!
I decided I would have to practice. The council allows public input for two minutes at the beginning of their meeting. What better place to get a grip on public speaking than in front of friends? I didn’t do it... but the opportunity is there, or so I tell myself.

To continue:
The “Good” is that a small town can have special opportunities compared to a big city. Like our own cable/internet TV channel with its programming highlighting the local area.
The “Bad” is that they didn’t have anyone who wanted to do it.

The “Good” is that when a job needs to be done in a small town, you have a good opportunity to be the one to do it.
The “Bad” is that although you have been taking computer/video lessons you don’t have the equipment to do the job you would like to.

The “Good” is that the whole world will be seeing your videos anyway.
The “Bad” is that... I can’t think of anything bad. My friends are already forced to watch my videos on Youtube!

The “Good” is that in this process, I have taken advantage of some opportunities that probably wouldn’t be available in a big city.
The “Good” is that I can highlight local musicians and artists and just friendly folks who make this planet a good place.
The “Good” is that there is opportunity here for others too.
The “Good” is that I have been finding that there sure is a lot of “Good” in a small town.!

(Watch "Along the way... with Rosie" on both Channel 12 and on the internet at