Day 41

There are, you know, monks that live in the world.

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)

About Wilson

J. Wilson is an award-winning homebrewer, BJCP judge and pretty good dad. View all posts by Wilson

4 responses to “Day 41

  • Brett Silver Begani

    Go Sox!

  • angi

    Most inspirational message yet, because the truth rings clear. Thanks as always for sharing your journey.

  • Eric

    This really makes me think back to Luther and his whole argument about “the sacred and the secular” dichotomy that we all are faced with. Why do we have to live within a simple dualism of what is sacred and what is secular? Why can it not be both? Christ didn’t send out the disciples to live in seclusion, yet there is great power in seclusion. The more I grow in my faith and relationship with Christ the more I understand the key to holistic living. If we truly believe in something then our actions will flow out of that belief. Much like your post about your wife’s turn away from meat, there is a point where your belief must flow into action. If you are doing simply for doings sake and not out of heart felt belief then your actions will result in bitterness and pain. May the Holy Spirit speak to you in this last week of this leg of your journey and may Easter be a celebration of the newness of life and your return to solid food be the a foretaste of the Christ’s return whenever that may be! (Sorry got a little too pastoral there for my own sake.)

  • Mike

    I’ve enjoyed all of your journey, but this entry is my favorite. I love the “cinnamon girl” reference.

    Thanks for sharing this with us and God Bless!

    Oh, and Prosit!

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