On Retreat

I finally have a chance to blog. I am on a retreat at the House of Prayer in Collegeville. The retreat is a study of the letter of James and that portion of Matthew known as the Sermon on the Mount. I have studied one hell of a lot of bible in my time including many, many commentaries, but I gotta tell ya…my brain is burning. I am not sure I can share what I have been learning  just yet – or ever – but I thought I would share something of the process.

We have two instructors, one for each piece of the scriptures I mentioned above. The James teacher sent us off to do some journaling with a list of six questions. The first one was this: “What is it like (internally and from the inside) to be a human being? Describe us.” He told us in answering the question, we should imagine ourselves having passed through from this world to the other through the door of death and the beings on the other side want to know what it was like being on earth having a b body and all that. Before he got to “having a body”, I was going to write about the great welcome I was expecting from my relatives, my mom, dad, Aunt Rose, Uncle Louie, my cousin Butch and the gang. But then I realized he was talking about those other beings, the angels. I never really had a thought of meeting up with them. I have never had much of an interest in angels. Besides, I am not too crazy about what my body is doing recently. I would probably say something like, “Having a body isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

The second question I found much more interesting to answer: “What is the basic operating instructions for being human? If there was a manual of instruction that came from the manufacturer for how to be human, what would it say?” This is what I wrote word for word:

Be what you are. You are what I created you to be. What I created you to be, not what your mom and dad or the rest of the world, but I . I gave you the body to wear and it is one you will carry with you through  life – it’s adjustable by the way. Do the best you can. This is not a contest with winners and losers. It is more of a contest to help you put yourself to good use. You sort of have to figure that out for yourself. Think of that game (often played at bridal showers) when someone puts and item on the table and everybody is supposed to guess what it is for. The one who guesses right is the winner.

Once you figure out your use, then be useful. Don’t’ try to do things with yourself that other people were created to do. That tends to make other people lazy. Just do what you are supposed to do.

Have to go. It is bed-time. Have to give the brain a rest.