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Occasionally you can quit a bad habit, once and for all. Every now and then you can change, and for the better. Once in a blue moon you can pray a prayer that gets answered. Sometimes even, you can hear a sermon that actually sets you free. I know this is true because it happened to me. Last Monday I was going along with my day, minding my own business, when a friend said to me, “I’m growing tired of interpretation. I don’t want people to be smart anymore. I want them to be funny, honest, warm, and generous. Give me the fruits of the Spirit” and that changed my life. I was delivered from outrage and hot takes. I was delivered from pretentiousness. I was delivered from endlessly trying to synthesize tension and nuance. I was delivered from progressive and conservative categorizations. I was delivered from piety. I was delivered from self-righteousness AND self-destruction. I was delivered from being clever. My fear of missing out left my body. Now I breathe freely. Now I tell jokes. I laugh. I exercise. I drink less Mt. Dew. I’m pronouncing blessings on the people who have done me wrong. I am making amends with the many people I have injured. I am eating better (you know what though? My body screams out for sugar. I am ALWAYS craving my favorite snack in the world, a latte and a donut.) I go for walks with my kids and grandkids. I don’t have much money or time, but that’s okay. The days are for fishing for bass and reading fiction. The days are for solving the challenges we face (what do you do when someone betrays you?) The days are for forgiving. I read on Facebook the poet David Whyte say “To forgive is to assume a larger identity than the person who was first hurt” and I think that just might be the most precious and difficult task we have ever taken on. Can we carry ease and relief into the world of our daily life? I think so. People of the Spirit are good at two things: grieving with those who grieve, and, rejoicing with those who rejoice. And the most wonderful thing of all is being able to do both at the exact same time.
📷 @nhblnd

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