Some days, many days, the most daunting task of the day is just getting ready…taking a shower, styling my hair, choosing my clothes. I often wonder, who decided that we changed into night clothes for bedtime and back into day clothes every morning? If I could, I would declare that as long as you’re covered sufficiently, day clothes can be night clothes and vise versa and the same clothes can be worn everyday until laundry day every week…not sure about the shower and hair.(?) I do remember, though, that as a youngster we only bathed once a week, usually on Saturday in preparation for Sunday church. Seemed to work pretty well, I think. (Maybe we had a higher tolerance of odors!:)
Oh well, it’s a tedious task sometimes, but always feels good once it happens. In fact, on the rare days that I don’t “get ready” and I choose to stay in my night clothes without a shower, etc., I usually regret it. I usually end up feeling restless by the end of the day and look back on an unproductive rather unsatisfying lazy day. There’s just something about that preparation that sets the tone for a more purposeful, energetic day. It’s sort of like once I’m “ready”, I’m good-to-go, open to anything that calls my name!
Yesterday, Easter Sunday, I listened to a sermon about “boldly plotting the resurrection”, about “getting ready” for something better. My heart was stirred as I realized I’m getting closer to the end of this physical life and contemplated the “something better”, the next step in my life after death. I was filled with anticipation as well as a sense of not knowing for sure what it was or how it would be. I know what my belief system and my faith describe as the next step. I know what my holy scriptures teach about the next life. I know that for sure my physical body will be shed and there will be no more necessary showers, hair styling or clothes choices! But can I really be ready if I don’t know for sure where I’m going?
When I was younger, I thought I could know for sure. I thought it was imperative that I knew for sure and it was my mission to make sure everyone else knew for sure too. As I lived my life, though, and allowed myself to question my beliefs alongside of my experiences, I realized I couldn’t know anything for sure. I could only hold my truth (my beliefs and my knowledge woven into my life experiences) loosely and keep my mind and my heart open each day for new understanding…to be a continuous seeker.
The pastor’s carefully chosen words lead me to contemplate the intentional “plotting” of my “resurrection”. I want to be ready and good-to-go when I hear my name called. And for me, it means that my spirit is strong and vibrant, that I’m ready to receive whats next without knowing exactly what it is but with a sense of wonder and awe. It means that I don’t fret about whether I’m in my night clothes or day clothes but that I wear grace and love and compassion lavishly and flamboyantly, giving grace to others instead of impatience and irritation, looking with compassion on everything that is, giving generously of myself and my resources, and receiving gratefully from others.
Last week as I visited my mother and father’s graves, I had an acute awareness of all they were that continued to live on in and through me. Their bodies were definitely gone. Their spirits were definitely alive. I could feel their presence.
Today I will do the best I can to attend to my physical self (I will shower and get dressed!) but I will also do my best to boldly plot that inevitable spiritual resurrection!