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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Let go and let God

My best friend asked me today about my relationship with God, for she knows I have been in a new-to-me spot of a bit of distance from God + a disconnect from religion, and that I have been somewhat flummoxed as to what to do about it all.

I thought about it, and discovered that, while nothing big has changed, – there is still this disconnect with religion and my place within it, as well as a distance from God – things have changed – I am not so worried about the religion concern, and I have actively accepted and, even, sought out God in the space around me on a regular basis.

Still nothing too big in the lines of church and religion, but I’ve had a big feeling of, when I consider how I haven’t figured out my place in it all and how I feel like something is wrong about that, I have a filling feeling of, ‘It’s okay,’ and something helps me release a deep breath inside of me.

Whenever this happens, I can tell that it is true… it is only a temporary situation, and it is okay right now, because now is not the time for me to worry about it all and figure it all out…

Instead, it keeps feeling like the time to love and to share my talents… and slowly but surely to let go and let God.

The eternal that is within us all, connects us all, is still there and always will be – I need not fret about what vocabulary to use to address it, when talking about it to others… I just need to let it be and to let myself be with it… you know?

Post-a-day 2019

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

Cowboy Church

Just as I was going to bed on Sunday night, I ended up on the phone with my mom.  She was on her way to Cowboy Church, the Church services offered for all the cowboys who are in town to participate in the rodeo (though it is open to all, of course), and so, even though it was long past my bedtime, it being near midnight my time, I asked her to call me back once she had arrived and settled in at the service.

I rushed to finish my bedtime routine, reading and all, and had just finished everything when my phone was buzzing with the FaceTime call from Church.  Therefore, I found myself attending Church for the first time from the comfort of my own bed.  But it gets better.

The passage on which the pastor focused mainly was the one from Luke 10 where Jesus ends up at the home of Martha and Mary, and Mary sits and listens to and dotes on Jesus, while her sister, Martha, is preparing the meal.  (Martha eventually comments to Jesus about the situation, and asks him to tell Mary that she needs to help Martha, and not just sit around, and then Jesus talks about how Mary has actually picked the better and more important of the two options, and all that jazz.)

You know how there’s always the discussion over Shakespeare’s works, whether they are too old-fashioned to be fully understood to people today, and would do best being re-done in a way that people can actually relate to the various situations and circumstances, as people had been able to do in Shakespeare’s time?  Now, typically, we think of the biblical figures as following a certain type of diet, based on historical information on the region, as well as various notes within the Bible itself.  However, seeing as this was Cowboy Church, the pastor definitely took it upon himself to speak to his audience, and to make the story more relatable for his listeners.

How, you ask, did he do that?  Well, Martha wasn’t cooking seeds in the oil, making bread, or anything like that.  She was in the kitchen chopping tomatoes for the salsa, cooking and slicing the meat, heating the tortillas… in short, she was making fajitas for Jesus.

After that image, all I could see was a Jesus eating fajitas next to a jar of Pace Picante, while wearing a tunic, a cowboy hat, and boots; and then riding off on a horse, while swinging a lasso in the air.  Or perhaps I just kept flipping back and forth between a sort of Chuck Norris and a Jesus image.  Not sure – it’s a difficult thing to imagine, Jesus eating tacos and fajitas.

All in all, I had a wonderful time at Cowboy Church, and for various reasons.  i also had several firsts in that attendance.  It was, of course, my first time at Cowboy Church, and I was thrilled to be in attendance.  It was my first time to attend Church while in my bed and PJs.  it was my first time imagining Jesus easting fajitas and salsa.  And, perhaps the oddest of them all, it was my first time spending the entire service using my phone.  It was a way cool sort of bedtime story slash activity.  So glad to have such an awesome mom.  Thanks, Mom!

 

Post-a-day 2017

 

 

Dreaming of being Muslim

Have you ever wanted to be a different religion than you currently are?  I don’t mean like converting.  I mean it in the sense of having a different life; perhaps even literally being born into a different family and culture, such that your whole belief system is completely different from what it is now.  Well, anyway, I have (which, I suppose, was already rather obvious, seeing as I’ve brought it up and all…).

Growing up, and even still nowadays, I found myself occasionally longing to be a member of a culture similar to that of Islam’s culture.  I realize there are many concerns that have arisen in recent history regarding the religion.  However, that is not the point here.  The point is their beautiful dedication to their religion.

Whenever I pass the Prayer & Meditation Room in hospitals and comparable establishments, known to be filled with people of varying cultures and belief systems, I usually double back and go inside the room.  When inside, I see the prayer books, and sometimes even the mats for prayer and the compass-perfect layout of the room (for those who pray in a certain direction), and I feel a sort of longing.  From something deep inside, I feel an attachment to these strong religious practices.

Praying so many times a day, at certain times of day, using specific prayers and motions…, you really have to plan ahead in your day.  We have a soccer tournament today, so we’ll take a break between these games and these games… do you have the mats?  Just a normal Saturday, right?  Your religion ends up on the forefront of your mind from the moment you wake up, to the last prayer before sleep.  (Plus, with the Hijab for a woman, it is even more prevalent in one’s day. (Actually, I regularly wear a head covering for yoga, and sometimes even just life, and I wish it were more accepted, such that I could really wear one whenever I wanted.))

Perhaps it is simply that the practicers of Islam seem to have such extreme dedication, that it is as though they ‘have it all together’ or something.   That I experience their dedication as a sort of clarity and true love in their lives…, and I want that clarity and love in my life, too.  Perhaps it is that it just seems so special to me, their religious practices, and I therefore want to be part of the something special.  I think it is just that I find beauty in it all – the practice, the dedication, the thought-out-ness of implementing it in life -, and I want that beauty.  I want beauty to abound in my life, and this is just one other way that I could bring beauty into my life…

I know there is so much more I could say, and so many better ways in which I could say what I’ve already said (although it is all writing, as opposed to actual speaking), but I think that up there gives a somewhat accurate portrayal of my thoughts and sentiment on the matter… somewhat.  ;P

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