Copyright 2018 Episcopal Church
of St. John Baptist. All rights reserved.
The Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist 200 Main St., Thomaston, Maine 04861
firstname.lastname@example.org (207) 354-8734 Sunday Services are at 8 am and 10 am
Office Hours: Tuesday through Friday 8:30 am - 12 noon
Our previous deacons: The Rev. Barbara Crapmton (above) and the Rev. Deborah McKean (below)
Musings from the Bell Tower
Rev. Robert E. Laite Jr.
Sometimes God’s Blessings hit me hard when I least expect it. The first time I ascended to the Bell Tower, I was taken aback. I did not expect to see such a splendid view of the “heart of downtown”. It was one of the first “building mysteries” that I first explored when I began to get involved in building maintenance here. I just sat for a half hour or so just watching the activity down below. It was a beautiful sunny day so people were busily going about their daily routines. There were a few people that were actually taking the time to enjoy the day. No rush, contemplative, serene, and unhurried. I chuckled to myself silently saying, “Wow, I’d like to try that some day!” The old saying, “The hurrier I go the behinder I get” really seem to fit my crazy lifestyle.
I sometimes refer to myself as a professional “rat racer”. Then I have theses odd moments of clarity or epiphany. “You are running away from yourself. Slow down and smell the roses.” If I am busy I don’t have to think of the events and experiences that have caused me great pain. Then the Serenity Prayer kicks in. The tension starts to lessen. I find that when I start to avoid these experiences, I start to shut myself off from God. I very often get reminders of this through daily readings of Twenty-Four Hours a Day. A recent meditation really drove these thoughts home to me.
“God can work through you better when you are not hurrying. Go very slowly,
very quietly, from one duty to the next, taking time to rest and pray between.
Do not be too busy. Take everything in order. Venture often into the rest of God
and you will find peace. All work that results from resting with God is good work.
Claim the power to work miracles in human lives. Know that you can do many
things through the Higher Power. Know that you can do good things through
God who rests you and gives you strength. Partake regularly of rest and prayer.”
“I pray that I may not be in too much of a hurry. I pray that I may take time out often to rest with God.”
This is what I sometimes call a “Devine Intervention from God” or a Diaconal “Oh wow!” There are days when these revelations sink in deeper than others. But, I realize that I will never achieve Spiritual perfection. I can only do my best to comprehend and accept God’s Blessings to the best of my ability. I still find myself, from time to time, chasing after that little piece of cheese just beyond the wheel. I try to catch myself, take a deep breath, “Okay God, here we go. Reset!”
Now, sometimes, the reset button doesn’t quite click. I know God loves me. I know God is very, very patient with me. I really do believe and am not ashamed to admit that I am not perfect. I realize I have a number of character defects that I constantly work on. But that is one of the Blessings of being human. So sometimes God has to actually knock me off my feet, literally, to get me to slow down. This is usually in the form of phlebitis which I call my anti-donkey “cure”. (I’m almost convinced that I have a little bit of “Donkey DNA”.) I am forced to pronate which leads me to meditate resulting in some emotional cleansing. Despite the very uncomfortable nature of this “cure” I find myself promptly crashing off to sleep. Wow....I am the eternal optimist and look upon this as the silver lining to that dark cloud . It is like the trap door opening on the “rat wheel” halting my race. The cheese isn’t half bad, either!
So, I had a plan and God had a plan. The Devine always wins out because I am where I had not planned on being. I was planning on working as a nurse in the ER caring for the sick and injured. Talk about a rat race of nuclear proportions. In retrospect, I believe God’s plan was the better plan. Of course! I can truly say that I do not regret what God’s plan was for me. The blessing from this plan has come in the form of self-care. I am a slow learner, but I am getting there. I’m enjoying the blessing of the cheese more than chasing after it.
Brevity is a Blessing. So for the next journey to the Bell Tower I would like to share the Twelve Promises that I was introduced to many years ago. These promises have had a dramatic effect on my journey of self-care.