Lumunos helps you Reflect ~ Connect ~ Discover your gifts to find your call in life, through these stories and observations here, through our website, and through retreats. Help us help you continue to discover your calling in life. Donations are accepted through our Website.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

We Are Still in This World Together

Last week, in the days leading up to Saturday’s non-rapture event, my less-than-charitable self took great delight in imagining that some of the self-styled “true believers” I know would get whisked up, up, and away. You know the people I mean—those who think they have locks on The One True Religion. They can be real pains in the neck—all their certitude, all their self-righteousness, all their judgments about others. “Good-bye, good-bye,” I would cheerily call out to them as their insufferable selves lifted off into the heavens leaving the rest of us here on earth to carry on with the messy business of trying to love one another.

As you can see, it is sometimes easy for me to scoff at people whose readings of the Bible are so very different from mine. And to be certain, self-righteous, and judgmental myself!
But this week, I find I’m not scoffing so much. Although I have never waited for this thing folks call the rapture to happen on a specific date, I have had experiences of putting my trust in someone or something—sometimes with God’s name invoked in the process—only to have that someone or something fail to live up to my expectations of all the glorious ways it would change me or my life. Things as small as a book, a diet, a weekend workshop. Things as large as a job or a move. Things as complex as marriage, divorce, or friendship. Things as deeply human as hopes held for, or by, a parent, a trusted teacher, or a child.

And sometimes I have been the one whose promises failed others.

This week, as I think about the people who truly believed that the apocalypse would begin on May 21, I wonder, how they are coping. Are they disappointed? angry? confused? Do they feel embarrassed? foolish? betrayed? Are they still believers, having found some way to rationalize or re-frame the rapture that did not come? Have they plunged into despair? Will they ever trust or be trusted again?

Perhaps we are not so different after all, they and I. Despite our divergent beliefs, we have things in common. Our humanity, for one, including our hopes as well as our failings.
We also have in common our yearning to be beloved of God—and our desire for the grace to hear and respond to God’s call. Sometimes we are misguided or miss the mark. Lord, have mercy. But we are still in this world together. Perhaps we can learn from one another—and begin again.

Angier Brock

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gardening...Living (organically)

 I precisely remember the day I was given the gift of the term “organic planning”. I call it a gift because it enabled me to have one less reason to be self-critical.

At a couples retreat our small group was sharing our passions and call, and I was “complaining” that even though I love gardening and landscaping, I didn’t have the ability to imagine a bed in its finished form but did my work over time and moved things in an out until it eventually met my goals for the space.

A woman in the group said simply, “Oh, you’re an organic planner.”
Huh? There’s a name for that weakness? The way she said it didn’t make it sound like a weakness at all! She made it sound like a style.
I love that day! I love that woman.

After a gloomy weekend in Nebraska, the weather turned glorious, and this story came to mind because I spent yesterday taking bedding plants around our gardens trying to find spots for them. Laurel and I couldn’t say no and over bought at the giant Statewide Arboretum sale last month. We have lots of ground but not much sun.

But the nugget is this. Some things are planned out front, but lots of things are “organically planned” during the process. Both seem true of how God has been in my life. I am especially thankful for the messengers God sends to all of us to say the words we need at given moments. I try to be mindful to be the messenger when I can.

Do you have a story where the gift of a word or concept has set you on a new course?

What is your story of being God’s messenger to someone?

Tom Pappas

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Call Story #65

Nine year old Milo Cress is doesn’t want you to put a straw in his drink, thank you very much.  He has learned that 500 million disposable straws are used every day, enough to fill 9,300 school buses.  All he wants is for you to ask first if you want a straw for your drink.  That simple questions means less waste for the environment, and it saves restaurants money.

I have never once heard a kid use the word “call,” as in “I felt called to help the environment.”  On the other hand, quite often I see examples of children like Milo connecting their passion with the needs of the world.   As with adults, some kids take action based on their religious convictions, others just want to make the world a better place.  Either way, we are the better for their actions.

Scratch below the surface of any kid following their call, and you will usually find a supportive parent or other adult. Adults can affirm children’s gifts; encourage their righteous indignation (kids have lots of that); and help them connect those things to the needs of the world.

Some day Milo wants to be a computer programmer, inventor, physicist or astronaut.  Imagine the difference he will make if he is encouraged to follow his call.

Parents, Aunts, Uncles Teachers and Friends:  What are you doing to support your children’s call?

To Learn more about Milo’s movement, check out BeStrawFree.org.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Aprons: An Appeal for Mother's Day

To everything there is a season, 
a time for every purpose under the sun.
                            ~  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Bottom line…this verse from Ecclesiates is the most lasting lesson my Mother has taught me.  My Mother, now 93, is of the “Apron” generation.  Just the other day, I found her one and only apron in a box of “stuff” left after she and my Dad moved into assisted living.  I picked it up, shook it out, and checked the pockets that had crumbs of past kitchen episodes in them.  The act of putting it into the wash meant no more of Mom’s luscious pies and brownies, no more seeing her carry something in the apron as if fragile eggs from the nest, and no more using it to wipe tears.  Now only memories exist of hiding as a shy girl in the apron when company came.  But as Mom would say, “for everything there is a time and place.”  The place now for the apron is in the drawer—folded and placed gently until the time and place to wear it emerges once again. 

For this most important lesson, I honor my mother with a Mother’s Day gift to Lumunos. 

You may name the person or persons to whom you are giving tribute by giving online at www.lumunos.org or calling 1-800-245-7378.

Won’t you join me in honoring your mother, your grandmother, your aunts, your sisters, and your women friends by giving a gift in honor of your Mother?                                 

Betsy Perry