Sunday, March 7, 2010

An Offering

Well, so far I have two people who have become "followers" of this literary adventure. My followers seem to be my son and one of my best friends. That suits this "pious pastor" just fine. I'm getting tired of writing sermons, teaching classes, or creating desk letters whose intent, finally, are to please. It feels right to do something for its own sake. To write, I suppose you could say, as an offering to God with no personal gain at stake. An offering nearly no one will know about.

I once attended a retreat led by Martin Prechtl, one of the most profound experiences in my life. He spent years living among the native residents of a lake region called Atitlan in Guatamala. He told us stories that were part of becoming a man in that culture.....and I cried at times from the depths of my soul as the words reached out, drilled into my being. He advised each of us to make an offering. It was to be something that we had made with our hands, a personal best you could say. Then, when it was complete, we were to take it out into the forest, a wild place, a place of nature, and to put our creation there...that is to offer it up to the divine. A branch, a cave, floated down a river, buried in the earth....I suppose there are many ways such an offering would be made. But, it would be for no personal gain or benefit.....purely and simply an offering of ourselves as a recognition of the beauty of life. (Martin's book is called "Long Life, Honey in the Heart.")

Something kept me from it. I think it was and is the strong drive to always give something that might be recognized. Prechtl's offering "without a why" has a hard time winning over the offerings that are little more than trade-offs...always something to be gained. Almost no one that I know gives anonymously or offers divinely.

I did listen to someone who had decided they would send in their church giving in the that was really membership dues that paid the bills. Then he decided that he would put another offering in the worship service that had no connection to budgets, personal projects, or self satisfaction. That would be his real gift. I wonder if he even left off his name for this more divinely inspired offering.

Anyway, this "Pious Pastor" is writing this as my offering....screening out rather than factoring in who would read this contribution to God. It is only a start. Doesn't feel like my best. I still feel the call to make something with my hands that I can put up for the creation to observe and perhaps the creator. That feels like real "piety." And, I think that day will come.

1 comment:

  1. I am surprised that you would not create something to share..something simple reflective of you as a person...why would you feel that you need to have recognition? Your statement "Something kept me from it. I think it was and is the strong drive to always give something that might be recognized."
    A man of your stature (from the Tom Pederson I remember from many years ago) with a kindness and caring about him would have no problem completing the task to make the offering. Throughout my life I have given most often anonymously to individual persons in need and to groups who are dedicated to actually making a difference in a person lives. It may not be monetary....but I have made purchases and had them delivered. In my heart I feel that I have made a difference and shared what I have to make another feel the warmth I feel in daily living.
    I agree that your writings in your blog and other writings that I am sure you have done and will do are a heartfelt offering. The feeling of piety shows in daily living without most knowing it is there. Just my thoughts. Cathy