How Do You Turn Yourself On?

While I am on retreat, it is not on a beach. I am in the beautiful mountains of Maryland, however. And there are koi.

Preaching to colleagues can be a dicey business. We’re a tough crowd. We all do this for a living, and even more than that, we’re all plugged in to a greater or lesser degree with That Which All Is, and we can tell when you’ve neglected whatever it is that you need to do to make sure that you’re plugged in. It shows. It’s an energy thing.

But here I go, 70 minutes out from preaching and I’m blogging. Do I have my sermon in the bag? Well, sort of. Ish. In that way were I’ve done my prep and I feel the Spirit tugging, the Stories crafting themselves in the workshop of my soul, but there’s something about being in the middle of the liturgy that when I’ve done it right, just flips all the switches to the ON position.

So how do you turn yourself on?

No, seriously. I mean, yes, I know where your mind just went, but that’s just a euphemism, and that’s only sexual. I’m talking the whole you. How do you plug in? Do you know where your ON switch is located? Do you, in fact, go to eleven? Do you know how to turn yourself up all the way to eleven? Have you located that particular knob?

Well, I’m one of those sorts who is on the cusp of introversion, so I just wallow in meditation like a pig wallows in mud. A specific smoothie consisting of ancient prayers, quiet mindedness, and intense chakra meditation usually centers me enough to be able to once more locate and operate my interior control panel. I can turn the chaos down and the energy up, or whatever settings I need for the moment.

And this is important, because I’m preaching on two topics. The gospel topic is this: Luke 6:43-49, which includes the wonderful line “it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks,” which is pretty much what I was just talking about. But I’m also going to preach on the following prayer attributed to Sir Francis Drake, and which I first came across in my curacy. It was the prayer the search committee prayed, and then they got Cam Miller, which explains quite a lot about Trinity Episcopal Church in Buffalo, NY.

Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little, when we arrived safely because we sail too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when in the abundance of things we possess we have lost our thirst for the waters of life… having fallen in love with life we have ceased to dream, when in our effort to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of a new heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wilder seas where storms will show your mastery, where losing sight of land we find stars, we ask you to push back the horizon of our hopes and to push us into the future of strength, courage, hope and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain, who is Jesus Christ.


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