Thursday, April 15, 2010

Greetings from Asbury Park ...

Well, not exactly, but I did pass the exit as I was counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike on my way up to Stony Point this afternoon. And there's your two pop cultures nods for the day.
It has been a while since I last posted; in fact, it's the longest pause since I started this blog four or five years ago. I've come face to face with my own ridiculous dependence on convenient technology. It's not just technology I'm dependent upon, it's convenient technology.
As noted last month, my laptop died a sad and overheated death. I spent several day in vain hope and resucitation efforts loading and reloading operating systems and so forth, only to conclude in the end that it was a hardware issue. Apparently the video card melted down, almost literally, due to overheating.
That happened the same week I severely sprained an ankle (trying to keep up with a kid half my age on the basketball court). All of that happened just before Holy Week.
All of which was enough to make a preacher cuss -- holy @#$!, as it were.
So, just in time for Easter I got a new laptop. But by that point not only was I in the midst of the business of the season, I was also out of practice, or, better, out of the practice of writing.
We are what we practice. When we set aside practices for whatever reason, it is all too easy to leave them set aside. Sometimes that is not a bad thing. To every thing, and every practice, there is a season.
But often we leave practices set aside because they are either habits or they are not. The practice of eating well, the practice of living lightly on the earth, the practice of worship, the practice of prayer, the practice of sport or art or music require, well, practice.
Contrary to the old saying, practice does not make perfect. Practice does, however, make us. Moreover, practice is not always convenient, and for one as addicted to (or practiced at) convenience, temporary inconvenience becomes a too easy excuse for setting a practice aside.
So I'm picking this practice back up, even as I engage again the practice of making peace as part of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Fellowship at its first ever convocation of peacemakers this weekend at the Stony Point Center in New York.
I am spending the next couple of days in the company of a wonderful collection of remarkable people whose experience and wisdom humble and inspire me. The grace of being in their presence this evening has, if nothing else, given me the energy to wake up the blog and pick up the practice. Not empty and aching ... but still off to look for a new, more peaceful America.
Sorry, the New Jersey Turnpike just does that to me.