5:30 a.m.– I sit in my dark red-brown rocking chair with the morning’s cup of coffee sleepily staring out the window at the rock mountain to the east. A thin orange-red ribbon of clouds begins to glow in response to the upcoming sun. It becomes brighter and spreads across the sky until it looks as if a brilliant orange brush fire has covered it. The glow is so bright that even the houses to my west glow back in response. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden . . . a lamp is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others…”
Then something unexpected happens. The fire in the sky begins to lose its bright glow. Instead of the blinding sun rising over the crest of the mountain the sky begins to dim to a pale yellow, then a dimmer gray white, and finally to a darker dull gray. The sun is hidden. What was once a glorious sight has slowly lost its glory. Instead of the crescendo all has died in whimper.
Looking over the past couple of months I think, have I lost my flavor, my glow? Have I lost the ability to transmute the sun’s rays so that they light up the world around me? The next question begs, “If salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?” Do I allow myself “to be thrown out and trampled underfoot,” eventually dying in a regretful whimper? Will I allow myself to continue to grow dim because of discouragement, anger, fear, or laziness? It’s so easy to mindlessly watch TV or surf the web as the evening ritual, instead of reading something holy and inspiring or spending quality time with those closest to me.
We all know how remedy this when this happens. Feel like it or not we can pray more. We can regularly attend Sunday mass (if we are that far gone); perhaps even go during the week schedule permitting. We can talk with someone of faith about our struggle, or lack thereof because of our far-gone state. Something usually triggers the diminishing glow of God within us. Sometimes it’s a particular event. Sometimes it’s a person blocking our attempts or influencing us. Sometimes it’s simply the distractions and negativity shoved into our face daily via the news or our choice of engagement on social media. Whatever it is we usually cannot change without the help of someone else.
7 a.m.– Unexpectedly the sun breaks through a thinner patch of clouds and slowly getting brighter. It’s going to be a sunny day after all. And I am grateful for the lesson.
(This is exactly how dawn unfolded this morning. The gospel reading is from Matthew 5:13-16, today’s reading.) The picture is from my album.