Southern work

I have worked in private Catholic schools, and so prayer and Bible verses aren’t entirely uncommon here and there slash every morning.

However, any work that I have had outside of these private schools usually has little to do with religion or God.

Sometimes, a prayer or invocation will happen at some event or other, because, well, this is Texas – there is a certain wholesome Christian-ness toy the culture, and so prayer before their performances was entirely normal and acceptable for the theatre kids at my cousins’ public high school in small-town Texas.

Houston is a whole ‘nother story – big city here means a certain amount of he open Christianity is lost – we have people from all over the world living here, and I’m not so sure Christianity has the majority hold here, even.

Therefore, it is uncommon for me to have strongly open Christianity show up at work here – leave Houston and enter smaller towns, and it absolutely is the norm… but not here.

And so, it was extremely odd for me to have the Bible quotes to me as part of my internship training the other day.

Yes, it was totally relevant to what I was being taught, (the quote, I mean), but the assumed foundation of Christianity was never discussed and was somewhat irrelevant to the topic of discussion at the time.

However, it reminded me that, well, I am in Texas and I am in the South, and I’m working with someone who is not Houston…, so of course Christianity is the standard foundation for anyone around – being not-Christian is rather abnormal and extremely uncommon.

And something about it was beautiful to me – no one was aiming to convert or preach or anything like that at all… it was merely a matter of, ‘Well, it is our task, given even by God, to do this and that, so it brings everything full-circle,’ having it make even more sense that we would do something a specific way in this job I’m learning (which, recall, is not a job about religion, but about caring for animals).

In any city-like job, I think I would have been uneasy about the comment, concerned that it was a radical Christian trying to convert me from my sinful ways without even getting to know almost anything about me, let alone the fact that I am Catholic – yes, we have these radicals here from time to time, too – but in the somewhat countryside, working with horses, it was utterly normal and acceptable, and it even surprised me that I wasn’t expecting it.

I guess I was thinking more about how this is a ‘work situation’, which I relate to big city, as opposed to that it is a ‘country work situation’.

Because if I had put in the word ‘country’, I’d have been ready and waiting for all sorts of Bible and God tidbits to show up – countryside in the south equals God-fearing and God-loving brings who are grateful for the gifts that God has granted them in their lives… for men, it means Christian cowboys through and through.

Traditionally, anyway… I guess we’ll just have to see how things go for the future of our Southern countryside, but I do kind of like it – the kindness and love that is always there really is wonderful.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about that right now.

Goodnight! 🙂

Post-a-day 2019

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Always be humble and kind

Tonight, I bought my own real pair of western boots that not only can I wear to help work on my brother’s property, but that look amazing and totally beautiful;

my mom ended up not being able to come to the rodeo with me and our family friend, and a different friend’s cousin canceled on coming with her and her mom;

the family friend and I met up, therefore, with my friend and her mom;

the two adults (because my friend and I are the children of the group) really hit it off, like old pals;

we all four got to ride in the Grand Entry at the rodeo, on two separate wagons;

I checked for tickets to the concert one last time, and found that there were exactly two available, and right where I wanted, so I bought them;

we discovered that our seats were an error, just as I registered a text message from the ticket office telling me the same thing;

the ticket office e-mailed me even better seats in exchange and kind of as compensation (like way, way better seats);

the two seats next to the two I’d bought ended up being open, and so my friend and her mom didn’t have to split up from us after all (to go to their own two seats elsewhere in the stadium);

Tim McGraw was lovely, as ever, and shows signs only of continuing to be fabulous all around as a human being, as a musician, and as a man (a side I have come to appreciate more and more as I have grown up, especially considering the previous two parts);

Clay Walker just casually showed up to duet with Tim McGraw on one of my childhood absolute favorites (Did you know that Clay Walker is from Texas?);

we had a wonderfully easy time exiting the stadium, grounds, and parking lot, as well as getting home;

and I was lent a truck to be able to visit family next week.

All in all, it was an absolutely magnificent evening.

All week, I wondered about tonight and what to do, because I realized that this concert actually was important to me, due to my deep childhood connection to the artist and his music from back then… and, at every worry, I chose to trust God, and let go of the concern, instead evaluating my present options and doing what I felt encouraged and pulled toward when I asked God.

And then, here was tonight, like Christmas for a small child, with everything landing wonderfully into places I had never quite expected.

Nothing could have worked so well, if things had gone as planned – they still could have been quite good, but nowhere near how they turned out.

In a way, this all goes to show how life can be so much better than we anticipate or think up ourselves – perhaps some divine inspiration in more parts of my life could be just the right thing right now…

Thank you, God.

Hallelujah(!)

Post-a-day 2019

Prayer?

Just before showering tonight, I found myself contemplating a message I received a year or two ago from an old coworker.

He was telling me that he was moving, and he requested that I pray for all to go well for him throughout the moving process and in the new place.

That’s not too odd on its own, right?

Well, we hadn’t been in touch for quite some time, first off.

Secondly, he continued on to say that I was the only person he knew that was into that kind of thing, and so that was why he was reaching out to me in particular.

So, totally understandable, then, that he would reach out to me for the prayers.

Thinking about it tonight, though, something hit me that had only kind of brushed my conscience before now: What could that be like, knowing only one person who prays, who has anything to do with prayer?

I can’t even imagine…

Among my friends I have people of various faiths and non-faiths, all to various degrees, let alone among my acquaintances.

Being from Texas – yes, it is Houston, but much of it still holds true here – I am accustomed to the majority of the people around me being Christians, and especially ones who have no qualms at all with talking about it whenever and wherever – Christianity is part of the vernacular.

And so, it is surprising to me that someone would know only one person who prays.

We are filled with Christians, to be sure, but Christians are by no means they only people who pray…

And imagine someone knowing just about none of those people…

It is just too unusual for me to imagine…

It was a totally different context, but people offered prayers constantly in Japan – it was something I loved about Japan, actually, crossing all the shrines and temples, and seeing and sharing prayers with all the people visiting them.

Prayer had a context, but it was commonplace and regular, even in a culture so drastically different from that of my own origin.

I eventually went to check the message, just to see what specifically he had said, and it was actually that I was the one whom he knew, who knew how to pray best…

Nonetheless, it has me wonder about the world and the people in it: Who among them knows no one or only one person who prays? (Or, at least, who prays comfortably?)

The thought is somewhat saddening to me, really, and has me almost ready to dive into prayer for all the people who feel alone and in need of some love on the prayer front…

Post-a-day 2019

Stick with it, hon’

Sometimes, it feels like either everything or nothing comes my way.  For quite some time, I have had a lot of nothing seeking me out, but I always had this feeling about how, ‘In June, I will know.’  I don’t know where I got the idea and phrase – call it divine inspiration, if you will – but it just came to me one day as an answering thought to my wondering about what my next step in life and work will be.  As though in a conversation, when one person responds to another’s question or concern, the thought appeared in my mind.

And so, I have put forth my efforts in what I have been doing, as well as stayed open-minded for what could be next for me.  Now, here I am, so close to June, and it looks like I have a whole handful of solid possibilities for what might be next in my life.  I hadn’t even realized how close to June it is, when I realized today how crazy it is, that I suddenly have what feels like a hundred opportunities knocking at my door.

Just as I had done earlier in the year, I will persist in pursuing these beautiful ideas and options that have come my way.  In doing so, perhaps, in June I will know which one or ones are part of my next semester in life.

Post-a-day 2018

Maybe a cowboy

Tonight at the rodeo, during the invocation, I had a thought that surprised me.  First off, I enjoyed the fact that a stadium full of people was taking a moment for prayer before beginning events of the evening…, even though it was not a religious event, or even religiously-officiated event.  Second, I noticed how much I enjoyed the praying part myself as an individual and as part of the community.  And thirdly, the thought which then occurred to me and surprised me most, I wondered if I might not want to be somehow involved in this kind of thing.  Perhaps I really would love to be involved in cowboy-related stuff, country and ranch stuff.  A visually beautiful place, filled with happy, animal-loving people, and where God is a happy place (as opposed to a sensitive or nonexistent one)…, now that would be nice.  I, of course, do not at all know that I would enjoy such a setting.  I think I fall under the common category of individuals who would be considered to be ‘liberal’, and that might not roll so well for me in the cowboy world.  However, there’s a niche for everything, and it is certainly possible that I could slide in perfectly well in the ranching and rodeo world.  Who knows, aside from God, anyway?

It’s just a thought I had, but I like the idea of considering it some more.  🙂

 

Post-a-day 2018