Sunday is the day when worlds collide — work, family, the meaning of life ….
Yesterday, for example, was a doozy. First Sunday School, where I talk to polite but (frankly) bored pre-K children about how Jesus loves them and wants them to be nice to their friends. For the service after, the older children took over. They’d prepared their own sermons and re-interpreted The Lord’s Prayer in their own words. I loved how they’d not only simplified the language, but uses phrases from a kid’s perspective like, “Please give us enough food to eat today” and “the heavens, the earth and the lava inside the earth.” Obviously some newly acquired science information there.
There was a little sermon in there for the adults, too. It was about love, using that word and how important it is to tell someone that you love them. Not just someone related to you, but telling a friend or someone you care for. It was about what the word “love” means and how we just don’t use it enough.
Later it was soul-sucking work of a mother: Shopping for clothes for a growing eight-year-old boy, making him try on about 20 pairs of pants and jeans. We both hated it. For me it was another reminder that someday he is going to leave home. “When did you stop wearing 4Ts?” For him it was “so annoying” and “boring” and “just buy me whatever, Mom!”
Then last night it was a “GivingCity on the town” gown at the Four Seasons for the Seton Development Board Gala. There’s something special about black-tie and an open bar on a Sunday night, especially with a crowd like this. Thanks to Ken and Kendall Gladish, I sat with Jesus Garza, interim CEO of Seton Healthcare Family, and his wife; Michelle Robertson, president and CEO of Seton North Market, and her husband; and Patricia Young Brown, CEO of Central Health and her husband. I also got a chance to say hi to Matt Kouri of Greenlights and congratulate him on his new daughter.
Attending these events is good for my work because it reassures me that Austin is in good hands. These smart, caring people love Austin and have high hopes for improving healthcare. I told Jesus Garza about my experience at Dell Children’s Medical Center last month, and he wanted to know more about the care we received during and after our stay. He was genuinely concerned that I had a little trouble finding a hospital staff person who could help me with a prescription once we were home.
Then this morning, the first thing I read is off the Harvard Business Review RSS feed: “How to Let Your Purpose Find You,” in which we are offered four tips. Here’s the first:
Be uncool enough to love. Purpose is a kind of love; it bridges the gap between the individual and the world. Yet, at every turn, in our brain-dead cult of the glacial machine, we’re discouraged from even using the word love — unless, of course, when it serves the consumerist purpose of selling diamonds or cheeseburgers or SUVs. So we substitute lower-quality ingredients for it, talking about “passion” or “dreams” or “bucket lists.” …..
Real love, today, is outmoded, passé; it just isn’t cool. Love your work? Love your neighborhood? Love your life? Love humanity? Love yourself? See, I just made you roll your eyes with the coolly detached irony of the mustachioed hipster overlord.
In our overly numb culture of icy cool, when we do feel something, we so often feel the opposite of love: hate, anger, fear, and envy. And those can give you drive. But drive isn’t purpose — drive is a fury to be slaked, an ambition to be achieved. Purpose is love, not just little-l love, but Big Love, the grand affair that defines a life — first between you and your better, fuller, truer, worthier self; and then between your that self and the world. And the longer you spend, insulated in the armor of ironic detachment, icy cool in your igloo — the longer you’re on something like a permanent vacation in the lifeless arctic wastelands of the empty tundras of the human soul.
I highly suggest this post.
The author’s second point is… love is painful. I ran into this all damn day yesterday.
Listening to little kids sing “This Little Light of Mine” and then preaching to you about what love is… parents always cry at this stuff, it’s so sweet.
Then watching my first-born grow before my eyes and his not want me in the dressing room anymore. Where did my baby go? Of course, I cried in the car on the way home.
Then the president of Seton genuinely concerned about my needing to change my daughter’s prescription on a Saturday and getting the hospital’s help…. what does he care? He’s the president of Seton! I was a little drunk, yes, but I was genuinely moved.
Do I cry easily? Yes. Have I slept much in the past few weeks? No, of course not. Am I having the time of my life? Can’t you tell?! I love Sundays!