Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Daily Office Reflection: Myopia

Psalms 119:145-176 * 128, 129, 130; Numbers 22:41-23:12; Romans 7:13-25; Matthew 21:33-46

I got a wonderful surprise walking out the door at 6:00 this morning taking Allie for her morning constitution. The temperature has dropped at least 2o degrees, with a beautiful and refreshing wind out of the west. The humidity and heat that has been sitting over the former swamp that is Washington DC for the last two weeks has broken. I have all my windows open, and the air and breeze feels so refreshing this morning.

I am not usually bothered by heat and humidity, and much prefer it to cold and freezing temperatures, but I have noticed that I was a bit crankier these past few weeks, a bit more on edge. Now I recognize that this isn't only a weather induced state, as my employment situation has provided me with some reasons for being a bit off-balance. But I have noticed how the weather not only had an effect on me, but also on the intentional Christian community with whom I serve, as well as the residents of this city. Everyone was a bit on edge, more narrowly focused on themselves and allowing those feelings to control how they live in the world: closed down, unseeing, self-centered.

I think those reactions to heat and humidity we have been living through in this area are analogous to the Balaam saga we have been reading in Numbers and to the parable Jesus tells the chief priests and the elders in today's reading from Matthew. The Balaam - donkey story (which we read yesterday) is partly about being so self-absorbed as to miss God's voice and actions and our opportunities to respond that are all around us. Jesus' parable about the fenced in vineyard and the workers' reaction to the owners' managers and son is similar in point.

This glorious breeze I am enjoying this morning is a tangible reminder about how closed-down we can become when we let ourselves be distracted from being open to the Holy Spirit's work in the world around us. This wind that has wiped away the humidity can be a palpable example of God always reminding us that, although we may make mistakes, we may get myopic and selfish, it is never too late to step out and do our part in building the kingdom, here and now.

Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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