Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Things We Can't See: West Wing, Allergens, Spirituality

I'm going to miss West Wing. It has become a family favorite of ours. We will schedule our Sun. night so that we can all be together for the viewing. We will record (don't have TIVO) it if we're busy or can't all sit down when it comes on. It's the only show we treat that way.

When I consider why, there are lots of reasons that come to mind: The writing is (or at least was) smart. The setting involves government, law, and history. Topics most of our family finds interesting. Which then becomes a teaching and discussion time. The characters often inspire us. We see a President who is intelligent, engaging, charismatic, and principled, surrounded by people who believe in the nobility of service. (I guess that's when we realize the whole thing is fiction!)

There are probably other shows that could recite the same list. But for whatever reason, this show has caught our attention and touched something in us as a family.

Have you seen the commercial for Trane that advertises an air purifier? They state that there are millions of allergens in the normal house that are unseen. I don't know that there is anything 'normal' about our house. But I suppose we must have all kinds of things floating in the air that can't be seen or detected by the naked eye.

My spiritual tradition says that all of like is like that. That there are things in and around us that we respond to everyday, that we can't quite quantify or identify. Things like love, patience, kindness, or joy that make life "full"; things that give us a sense of purpose; things that make us feel like life is overflowing, being lived to the brim.

My spiritual tradition believes the Spirit of God moves around us, using everyday things like tv shows to bring people together, give them a vision of the way life can and ought to be. Just like I can't see the allergens, but believe faithful people who tell me they exist, I believe there is more to life than the things that can be counted (like money, or time). And that sometimes, those are the things that matter most.

My prayer for you is that you will discover that world, if you haven't already. And if you have already discovered it, my prayer for you is that you'd give greater attention and nurture to that world.

Grace & peace.

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