Saturday, November 30, 2013


AVI recently posted on the spiritual gift of "Reminding".

He noticed that he rarely learned anything new from Bible reading and studies, and thought it a good thing: reminders are not news but we need them, even when we're not enthusiastic about them. Someone learning new things may applaud the teacher; someone hearing the also-necessary reminders may just grump. The job of Reminder is definitely more like foot-washing...

I'm still learning aspects of the faith emphasized by other branches--finally getting around to it--which is very interesting and edifying and not always very attached to how I live. On the other hand, my familiar daily readings that cycle through the gospels bring me to Matthew 25 regularly. Every time it seems to dig a little deeper: "Pay attention, dummy!"

If we hunger and thirst after new things, the old familiar may seem, and perhaps eventually become, mere rote. (Merton said he knew monks dead from the neck up.) There must be a trick to being thankful for reminders. Maybe experience? The oil level in the van hasn't been a problem since we bought it, but we still need to check it--one day it won't be OK. Hone up the kitchen knives. Sweep the floors, call your mother, mow the grass (come Spring): do the ordinary maintenance that, if we keep it up, isn't so ordinary.

Sometimes I find myself so far afield that I wonder if I need a flapper. Now that I think of it, most of the prophets were doing reminders (linked to an "otherwise here's what's coming" or "this happened because"). And they were highly honored for it (usually after they were dead): I think AVI's right; "one of the higher gifts we should aspire to."

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