My Sunday blog is happening on Monday because I spent most of the day Sunday unpacking bags, boxes, and other receptacles full of things I didn’t think I owned. Because I thought I was a minimalist. Well, after this move, it is clear that that was a false identity I was clinging to. So, forgive me all those who I have judged in the past for having stuff, because I. Have. Stuff.
Pretty much the only other thing I did yesterday — aside from watching the Lakers win the NBA finals because I live in LA now, and because Kobe, and because Lebron– was attend a virtual church service in the morning. I have been “shopping” for churches lately, listening to sermons on the gospel radio station and watching pre-recorded messages on church websites. Yesterday I tuned into a live service, replete with a preacher and a handful of singers. Friendship Pasadena Church. It used to be called Friendship Baptist but apparently they removed the word at some point. I’ll be looking into that later.
So I sat and watched and listened and actually enjoyed worship, as much as one can through a screen. Rev. Lucious W. Smith was charming and funny and bantered with folks off camera who were helping with the technology side of the service. The energy reminded me of my home church, the First Baptist Church of Madison and my pastor, Rev. A. Craig Dunn who also thinks he is funny. Anyway, Rev. Smith’s engaging sermon was about resetting, about going back to basics. It was about returning, in terms of faith, to that time you first “fell in love” with Jesus, with God. It was about remembering how that felt. And like any good sermon, it felt like it was meant for me.
I don’t have to elaborate much on this principle because once we imagine the concept our minds can go to just about any facet of our lives and insert a lens of reset; we can then start remembering, within our bodies, when things were new. I mean we are all so tired, so burdened right now. What if we just started fresh? I mean, I have the perfect venue and moment to do so: I just moved to a new state, a new home! The grocery store is new; the highways are new; the daily sunshine is new; getting to see my daughter on a regular basis is new. And yet, as I watched those movers carrying in my belongings through the front door I felt the past tugging at me. I didn’t think that then but now I see that each time I discover a Ziploc bag full of hair accessories, or unpack a basket of lint rollers, that I am walking backwards in time. I am seeing these things in my old psychic space, on my old me.
So at yoga this morning — on the top of Mount Washington at amazing guru Nora Brank’s gorgeous nature house — I set my intention to start anew. Within. So that scrunchie is going to be worn a different way, and the lint rollers will be stored somewhere else other than the bathroom. Little changes can make life feel fresh. Now, of course resets don’t always work. (Take for example the red reset button on my new AT&T modem which has timed out almost every day since I arrived). But I am sure we can use our powerful minds to find some newness in our lives, in our friends, in our jobs, and in our faith.
It’s fall. The Jewish New Year was just celebrated. My daughter’s birthday is this week. The narrative of our world right now might feel old and tired but we can walk through this barrage with refreshed eyes and hearts if we want to. That’s what I’m going to do — even as I keep unpacking old things.