Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The cat’s in the cradle and a silver spoon

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

The cat’s in the cradle and a silver spoon.

I was contemplating my bike the other day. An old Cat Stevens song came to mind. As I sang the song in my head, the lyrics changed to:

My bike died just the other day.
It left the world in the usual way.
A Blown engine, too much to repair.
They sold the bike while I was away.
And the cat’s in the cradle and a silver spoon.
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
When we going riding, I don’t know when.
But we’ll have a good time then, yea.
You know we’ll have a good time then.

As I hummed this to myself, I could not help but daydream of rides to come.

Then my mind came back to the original song by Cat Stevens. A song that is quite sad really.

You know the song is about a father who is so busy, consumed really, with the things that he thinks are important. Trivial things really, but all consuming to someone who lives their life worried about the future. Never realizing that what is right in front of them, in the moment, is what is truly important. The father recounts how the little boy would say; when I grow up, I want to be just like you. You can hear the pride in the father’s voice when he sings this. Then the little boy grows up and the father finds out that his son had grown up just like him, too busy for the father and he is left all alone, wanting the only thing that he cannot have; time with his son.

As I sat contemplating this, another visual came to mind. It was the movie “Hook.” In the scene Robin Williams, who plays a father consumed with climbing the ladder and making money is standing at the window. His wife has put his children to bed. His wife walks in and says, “Peter, you are not paying attention. Your children are growing up and you are missing it.”

My bike died the just other day.
It left the world in the usual way.
A Blown engine, too much to repair.
They sold the bike while I was away.
And the cat’s in the cradle and a silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.
When we going riding, I don’t know when.
But we’ll have a good time then, yea.
You know we’ll have a good time then.

Brother Lawrence:

Brother Lawrence was a Carmelite monk in the 1600’s. He was not well schooled, and became a monk at an older age than most. In fact, the other monks thought him not up to the task of “high spirituality.” He had been relegated to kitchen duty. He would shop for the food, prepare the food, cleanup after the meals. He did this so that the other monks would not have to take their focus off their devotions.

As Brother Lawrence went through his day, he started practicing the presence of God. When he went to the market, he was buying food as if he was going to use it to feed God. When he prepared the meal, it was a meal for God. When he washed the dishes, he washed dishes for God.

The funny thing is, we do not study the other monks. We study “Practicing the Presence of God.” We study Brother Lawrence. The other monks who spent their time in the sanctuary, we do not know. Brother Lawrence, who spent much less time in the sanctuary, and much more time serving, we do know.

It is good to contemplate the things of God. It is good to daydream of Heaven and being in relationship with Him. Christ never meant for us to be so focused on Him that we let the world and those around us go to hell.

I know that Christ is focused on me; He is not standing with His back to me looking out a window, contemplating the future. He is not so consumed with the future that He says, “Not now.” when I want to talk with him.

Let us take Christ’s example and use it to shape our lives.

Lord, don’t let me become the father in, “The cat’s in the cradle.” Please remind me when I am not being present to the things you want me to be present too. Teach me not to be a monk, but Brother Lawrence. Put people in front of me Lord, so that they may get a glimpse of you, as I am in you and you are in me. Amen.

Blessings,

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