The Dalai Lama comes to mind. I follow him on Twitter and am inspired by his (office’s) posts every time they scroll through my feed. He’s out there in the world, living it, speaking it, being it. And having a positive impact in so many ways.
There’s Bono. He’s selling the records and making the Benjamins, but at the heart, though he belts not only tunes but expletives from time, he’s a guy with his eyes on the prize:
“At the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that. . . Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.”
We are all so many fool-headed jack-monkeys, laden with daily “stupid stuff” that only grace can cover.
And then there’s Johnny Cash. He was a bit of a rascal in his youth, but the man in black carved out a life of which he could be proud, well beyond any chart accomplishments that may woo us when we are young. “How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell,” said Cash. “There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man.”
I, too, was an unmotivated knucklehead in my earlier years. And then came grace. I have three choices–ignore grace and God, cloister myself and become a monk or “simply” become a monk in the world, living at a higher level whether I am a beer drinker or not. In my visit to Conception Abbey, I learned that the pews were very hard and six services a day hurt my back, and since I’m unwilling to send my cinnamon girl packing, I must trudge forth, goblet aloft, in the world.
I have learned much and nothing during this project. Like my beloved Chicago Cubs, I must simply keep pressing forward. Cub fans are the most forgiving and committed on the planet, and they are nothing compared to God. There are rewards stored up in heaven, and like the Cubs, I, too, will win in the end with my feet firmly planted on the right side of the chasm.
(136.5 pounds today)