Calvary Episcopal Church
Memphis, Tennessee

The 8th Sunday after Pentecost
August 12, 2001
Volume 46, No.27

Get A Life!
It's a cultural expression. It has been around for a while. "Get a life!" It seems to have several meanings. On one level it conveys: "Relax!...Get a grip!...Don't be so uptight!..."You're too serious!," etc. On another level it can say: "Seek the deeper meaning of things!...Get hold of the true gift of life!...Are you missing the hidden glory of your days?"

This latter meaning is the one used by the compelling writer, Anna Quindlen, in her now legendary commencement address to Villanova graduates several years ago:

"Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm, or found a lump in your breast?...Get a life! One in which you stop and watch a red-tailed hawk circle over the water, or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a Cheerio...Get a life. One in which you are not alone. Find people you love and who love you. And remember, love is not leisure. It is work. Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Write a letter...Make a visit...Get a life! It is so easy to exist instead of to live."

For me, the most difficult and yet life-giving challenge that Jesus ever proclaimed is : "Get a life! If you want to (get) your life, you will have to lose it. And, if you will lose your life (to God), you will (get) your life."

Have you ever stopped to notice. In this timeless truth statement, of Jesus, in both cases we "lose." Why not then lose ourselves to love??

Lose yourself, just surrender to the awesome mystery of God. Lose yourself in love to others, spouse, partner, children, parents, friends, the poor, the oppressed. Lose yourself in generosity. Give your tax rebate to charity. The American economy doesn't need to be stimulated. Charity does.

Yes, let's lose ourselves to love. And, the return?? We get a life. Real life. One that makes a difference.
-Doug Bailey


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