Eric’s Sunday Sermon; How to Live the Good Life
Just a Moment In Time
No Mystery At All
Some folks surely lead a very good life and don’t share it. Before the full on advent of Facebook that seemed wrong. Certainly one should share the good fortunes and habits of their lives. Sharing the overcoming of something bad and prospering after it should be given as examples of perseverance.
Let examine “things” that lead away from a good life. Keep in mind that this preacher man has been afflicted by some extent to all of these.
Weight. This may seem a funny one to start out with but it is a baseline. Now we have all met very jolly and happy huge people. And we see some who are just plain skinny and perfectly good with that.
A quick story on that. I have had conditions that required medications. The first big one was chemotherapy. I am 6ft even and ended up weighing about 135lbs. The second was really just preventing a condition related to age and a wait and watch lymphoma in which really the best cure was an overabundant healthy diet – hence 60lbs over weight.
In both cases I was alive and that is the baseline; Being alive. But we note either extreme keeps us from full activity which is essential.
Anger. Check this out. Anger is really good for you. A really good glass of Red Wine three times a week is really good for you. But too much of either is really really an impediment to a good life. If we look at what “made” us angry and work through it, it reveals what inside us triggered our anger and we can work it through and get rid of control issues and fear. Anger normally is fear turned outward.
The Red Wine is such a gauge for whether we are in somewhat control of ourselves from the inside or is our direction really from what we take in from the outside. (Control is a tricky word)
Hate. This is so akin to anger. Reasonable hate like our wine or anger is fine in the right dose. One should hate atrocious happenings. We all should know the drill “hate the action not the person”. In our home “stupid” and “hate” are foul illegal words. Funny but we hate the words. However in sporting competition they are allowed as long as mom is not around. And we get good chuckles when we say “I hate you” when we get beat.
But for the good life we know that hate is the opposite of love. So we are careful.
We Say a Brutally Good Man
A New Day
Poverty and Hunger
Do not laugh. We are writing from Southern California. So much of our self-esteem around here is how you look. Some folks will tell you that the Bible forbids pride. Interesting concept that rightful pride in an offspring or spouse is bad. Another for instance is my 15 year old car that runs perfectly but is getting quite “faded” in appearance. I take pride in my constant vigilance that has kept it running and so as to minimize my footprint on earth.
Somehow too much pride which is properly called vainglory is really bad for the good life. Once again moderation is the key.
(As a side note I often wonder why some women 75 lbs overweight wear “skinny” pants. Not judging, just wondering)
Suffering. Hey I have full license to talk about what we would call misery and yet not suffering. Suffering is a full on choice. I know folks who suffer through a cold. So strange. Maybe they might even suffer over the above about poverty. I like to say we suffer through the cold weather here. I turned on the heater when we were 59 degrees in the house two days ago. We don’t heat to over 63. We like to wear our winter clothes, like sweaters and down booties and warm flannel pajamas. Yet I grew up where subzero weather was not uncommon. My boy and I love to suffer the rain and mud.
I think maybe some folks have a right to suffer. I hate that they are in that predicament in life.
Hunger. Again let me reiterate that I live in Southern California. Hunger is not an issue. I believe we have one of the largest “Food Banks” in the world. When we (I volunteer sometimes) hand out bags of food we have bags left over. And yes the poor of food no the schedules and could get a bag four times a week. That is after our very generous government programs and places like Catholic food programs. I met up with some homeless the other day. I saw one giving some food to another. They were both overweight. So I stuck around the bodega for an hour, most were overweight.
But here is a horrible rub. Crackhead parents don’t give a rat’s rear about feeding their children. Food gets sold for money for the habit. So we set up a program for free breakfast, lunch and snack for children at our school district. If a teacher recommends a child that is all that is needed. The food is so good that we have our son eat it. We pay and understand that our paying for it helps the program – talk about a win, win.
We pray for those children who live in starvation conditions.
Sunset from Coronado
Maybe Being Happy?
If you follow these sermons you know the baseline of a good life. Of course that is love. Being in a state of “in love” with life and all around us. It really is an inside job. You really cannot get it from being loved. Well of course that is the icing on the cake but the cake is self-made and a choice. A disclaimer here that after years of practice and spiritual stuff I don’t have a choice. I simply cannot not love.
I think that in some way we all have been afflicted from most of the negative stuff above. And it seems to me that we all go through bi-polar episodes. And we are all subject to a depressive state normally caused by loss. But we need not lose love.
If you ever get to being bummed out about your circumstance think of this time honored notion. I had new shoes that breaking them in caused pain. Then I went to the store and saw a barefoot man. When I chose not to give him my new shoes I then saw a man with no feet.
So the bottom line key to a good life is this. When you might be down and out. In the concept of above. Then do as the story with Jesus. Luke 21: beginning, I think. A widow and in those days, that was bad. Gave all she had out of poverty. And it is more than the rich man giving more.
That is us and a good life. If we are in poverty of love then we must give whatever love we have, and give it with compassion. In this our love grows exponentially like a synergism with our inside heart. It is not the outside giving that grows our good life it is the desire to share our love with those who need it. And who doesn’t need it?
“Love, love the magical thing.
The more you give the more you bring”
So I am sorry to have bored you with all this. How to live the good life does not need this whole sermon. It simply needs me to love you enough that you can share that love and pass it on. That is good enough.