We live in a world that loves quick
fixes, instant gratification, and wanting what we want when we want it.

Case in point: the line at the
grocery store ~ why do I act like it is a major inconvenience ~ dare I say an
injustice ~ when I must wait for the clerk to scan my soy milk and hummus?  Why do I start an online petition when the
person in front of me has 15 items rather than the allotted 10 items in the
express lane?  Why do I immediately pull
out my phone to check emails, as if I might “waste” a few minutes anytime I
need to wait?  Why do I get frustrated
and flummoxed when the grocery story is out of my cereal, when there are
hundreds of other boxes to choose from? 

The truth is we can carry this
way with us into church, sometimes without even realizing it.  Usually this comes up at the inopportune time
when you are frustrated or flummoxed with this very human-sized institution called,
“the body of Christ”.  Usually, our
deepest values pay a visit at the exact time when everything else is crashing
and crumbling down.  For example, the
gift of anger ~ it tells you what is not right according to the gospel of your
life.  Yet, if we are not careful, we
will go around yelling at everyone (passing along our pain) rather than asking
ourselves the important question, what is really at the heart of my
frustration?  We may want the church to
conform to our way and transformation sounds great for everyone else!  After all, as Anne Lamott says, “Of course,
we think our opinions are correct, otherwise we would get new opinions!” 

Right about now, would be the
time, I would introduce some amazing, astonishing, change-your-life in six-easy
step process to sell you all for the low, low price of $19.95.  I don’t have some great product you can apply
to your life to solve all that is unresolved within you or around you.  If you still want to send me $19.95, feel
free.  More and more, I am coming to
believe that we make the road by walking. 
Yes, others have traveled this path, we might see footprints or even
evidence of other creatures God blessed to be fruitful and multiply.  Yes, we may get glimpses of God’s grace that
offers direction.  But for me the
turn-by-turn GPS of life is constantly recalculating as I live day-to-day.  Meister Eckhart often spoke about the
“way-less way”.  He once said, “Ours is
the task of learning to seek God ‘without a way’ and ‘without a why,’ meaning
to open ourselves to the surprising and often unsettling adventure that
constitutes the search.”  In other words,
seeking God isn’t about perfectly polished words of a prayer or the right
retreat to help you meditate so you levitate or even some pastor who could
dazzle and delight you.  The way we
travel is more about our orientation than our destination
.  It is not just following directions; it is
the direction itself.  I know this starts
to sound frustratingly circular or contradictory.  You may be yelling right now, “Make it
plain!”  The way-less way is less about
the techniques and tips and tricks, than actually engaging this present
moment.  The way-less way says you can
pray in more ways than you will ever exhaust in one lifetime ~ gardening,
walking, sitting silently, watching cat videos on YouTube, cups of coffee with
friends ~ if your spirit is awakened and enlivened ~ that’s prayer.  Being faithful doesn’t conform or contort to
some mold, it is about showing up authentically and living the values you
hold.  This week, we will focus on this
way-less way as an invitation to us all to get caught up in God’s grace and
love that never lets us go.  Amen.