A & E

When I was in seminary, one of the things Dr Ricutti taught us in Intro to Preaching was to have a title that would catch people’s interest. My guess is when you saw the title you thought about the A & E television station (Arts and Entertainment). I wish I could say this is what I have been thinking about this week. In some respects, I have. However, the A and E I have been spending a good part of my time thinking about are two things we tend to do easily in our lives: assumptions and expectations. It is amazing how much drama, trauma, and suffering we can eliminate from our lives when we practice living an A & E free life. Today, I just want to focus on the E, and maybe next time I will focus on the A. I remember the first time I read the idea of living and loving with no expectations in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Mastery of Love
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Releasing Perfection

The last several years have been a time of intense personal growth and spiritual transformation. When I first started on this journey, I had this vision of being loving, patient, kind, compassionate, balanced, wise, etc. I felt as if I was supposed to embody the qualities of spiritual leaders who had come before me like Mother Theresa, Jesus, Buddha, or some other vision of divine perfection. I had this notion I was supposed to be a model of walking divinity; that everything I said and did was supposed to be a living monument of love, patience, justice, humility, and divinity. I had this notion I was supposed to be perfect all the time and was not allowed to have any human moments or feelings.
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Growing Instructions

This past Saturday, June 18, 2011, I hosted a surprise gardening and garden party for Zoë. Those who came to help celebrate her 57th birthday each brought a plant to go in our new front yard in an attempt to give her the front yard of her dreams this year. While most of our friends gave her plants or gift certificates with which to buy plants, a few of our friends gave us seeds. One of the things I realized in the process is that each plant and package of seeds came with growing instructions. As I thought about these instructions, I came to realize they were not just about caring for the plants, but also instructions for spiritual growth and evolution. The first step was to plant your seeds. Nothing can grow if you do not plant it.
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