Sunday June 14, 2009
I wasn’t sure where Fr. Bob was going with his sermon this morning except to know he was not the Master Gardener to whom he referred – though he is a good and dedicated gardener; I also knew he was not in the main referring to Anne Foust, our church’s resident Master Gardener but, of course, to God. Yet, what was the point?
Anxiety – that insidious of sins which we disguise as anything but itself and often fail – I certainly do – to identify as sin. Fr. Bob spoke of planning and plotting, researching and measuring, just how his garden ought to look – and, of course, the Master Gardener sprang surprise after surprise in his carefully laid out, mulched, manured and measured garden – mostly, they were beautiful, well rooted flowers and herbs – they simply didn’t stick to the "fussbudget’s" plan :). As I listened to this portion of the sermon, I was reminded of the clover growing in my overgrown field and yards – of how good it smelled, how it reminded me my soil had good nitrogen in it. And how I still needed to get my mower fixed so I could mow down that lush crop of clover – and also remove a food source for ticks and fleas, which my dogs do not need.
I have been very anxious this past month. It tripped me up like a snow snake on a downhill ski run. This was the first time back in church for service after taking 3 weekends (!) off – one of which I was truly ill but the others, I was in a desert – and not the chosen one in which our Desert Fathers and Mothers lived. It has been more a desert of soul. I had been working so hard to be a good Christian, I broke down and no longer even desired the company of the Liturgy and people whom I loved every week. I walked away from a class to which I had been much looking forward, I neglected Mass and was, basically, a mess. An anxious mess whose perceived responsibilities, income, health and chuztpah were in no way jiving, they were jangling in a most awkward key.
My health finally broke – I tried to keep working but to naught and had to give in. My finances were day by day. My dogs, whom I love, were getting on my nerves. First, I sent out a query to trusted friends knowledgeable about dog rescue soliciting comment, thought re: the future of Silverwalk Beagle & Hound Sanctuary. Then, I crashed – hit the wall – whatever you want to say. A friend came and took me for a ride, listened and helped me to see "all would be well." Another friend came and fed my dogs for two meals while I, who could not afford it, took myself to a motel and slept for 12 hours almost solid – "do you want a wake up call?" "NO, thank you." A third friend, after answering the query re: the sanctuary, followed up w ⁄ a query of her own – "are you all right?" The next day, I gave up my home internet and TV cable connections after having already traded in my desktop iMac for a Macbook with the plan, currently underway, of using free Wifi where I could find it – and it is at two of my favorite places – the new awesomely incredible Cape library and Panera’s, where they know my order and often have had it done before I get to the counter :).
So, what does all this personal stuff which you may or may not care about have to do with Fr. Bob’s sermon on the sin of anxiety? Simply put, I am now trying to act in accordance with the beliefs I have been touting: solitary ⁄ hermitic, directed focus – dedicated to God, serving in prayer, healing and animal rescue: this is Silverwalk Hermitage – this is me living out my life in God, by God and for God through the gift of his Child, my Savior Jesus Christ and with the support of the Holy Spirit. With no internet or TV at home (and believe me, I was an internet junky), I must ACT, not surf or zone out. My time belongs to God, my life belongs to God – anxiety should have no part of it. Those of you who use the ‘net and watch TV at all know the frequent "urgent" messages we receive that do no good for either our minds or souls. I was constantly anxious about something, even stuff I was barely aware of – it was insidious and relentless. I, on my own, could not ward it off but succumbed.
God has currently given me three foci through which to live out my faith and TRUST in Him – prayer: a strong call to a hermitic life associated w ⁄ service, healing prayers and meditation; healing: rededicated to an ongoing study of my worldly profession of nursing to His glory while using prayer as a healing resource, and animal, especially dog, rescue: seeking that place in this area of MO in which my talents and bents are for the best to serve and save those who cannot speak for themselves.
Will I need to revisit these thoughts to continue to help me refocus and recall the dread and death of anxiety? No doubt, but the Master Gardener has started a personal reformation, before and after Fr. Bob’s sermon, which put a name to my dis–ease. I felt especially affirmed today in being able to offer multiple prayers to many at service this morning – and wish you all to know prayers continue for you during and in between, at the urging of the Holy Spirit, the prayed daily offices.
May God bless each of us as we need and can handle – and help us to banish anxiety from our lives by KNOWING He is, indeed, the Master Gardener, not only of earth and soil but of love and lives. In the love of our Lord, Roberta "Bobbie" Beach.
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701