Archive for February, 2010

Mrs. Gossert?

Over the years, I’ve heard various suggestions for dealing with telemarketers. Saying you’re going to go get someone and simply laying the phone down, lying, making rude comments, simply hanging up….

And though the little cynic in me wants to believe that all telemarketers have a special gene that draws them into that line of work so they can enjoy interrupting and annoying people (and though I’ve had enough of them cop attitudes with me to feel there is some validity in my reasoning), I have a feeling that for many, it’s simply a job – a way of making a living.
As a Christian, I have a hard time feeling it’s okay to simply hang up or be rude or to attempt to annoy them out of some self-justified and rationalized sense of having been interrupted and annoyed myself. And because I often try to be too nice, sometimes I end up being tied up or getting roped into things I’d rather not…
So I’m going to try something else. I’m going to try and be a light in their day. Simply by being my crazy self and trying to make them smile or laugh. It’s my new goal.
Take yesterday, for instance.
About 4:30, as I was preparing dinner, the phone rang. “Hello?”
There was a pause on the other end. “Mrs. Gossert?”
“I wish.” (Brief pause.) “But then it wouldn’t actually be Gossert anymore…”
I heard a chuckle.
Mission accomplished.

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That was the title of today’s chapter. It’s the last chapter of the book. For the past month or so I’ve been going – slowly and reflectively – through Beginning Again: Benedictine Wisdom for Living with Illness by Mary C. Earle. It’s been really good.

Today I discovered that I should read more of Thomas Merton. I’ve known the name. But I never knew he struggled with illnesses all his life. Earle says this of him, something I hope that (other than the hermit part) can someday be said of me, “In all of this life as a hermit, a writer, a contemplative, a prophet, he lived with his illnesses and ailments. Those labels do not define him, though they were clearly one shaping force in his life.”

She then shared a prayer of Merton’s. One that resonates so deeply within me. So I thought I would post it… as my own heart’s prayer and as a reminder for days to come…
O Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going,
I do not see the road ahead of me,
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think
I am following Your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe
that the desire to please You
does in fact please You.
And I hope I have that desire
in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything
apart from that desire to please You.
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road,
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust You always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear,
for You are ever with me,
and You will never leave me
to make my journey alone. Amen.

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