Don’t Fly such Flags unless they’re Flying Below

With it being another early and very quiet Sunday morning, I headed to office early enough to get my contemplative prayer session completed before I had to seat myself at the piano at the rear of my office and run thru the music selections I was given to play at St. Paul Lutheran this morning. With all the the commotion of this past week, it took me a little longer to get myself settled down enough to where I could more fully focus on my spiritual experience. What I’ve found the most interesting as well as refreshing, is that each and everyone one of those sessions are never exactly the same. Just recently I’ve noticed how all the more spiritualists are encouraging the general public to find their own little quiet spots where they can create sacred and very personal settings. When I mentioned it to someone many months ago, they thought I’d turned into another one of those new-age religious zealots. Oh did I get him straightened out in a big hurry when telling him to do a little research on contemplative prayer, and there he’d discover it’s been around for well over a thousand years. Most have no idea how much spirituality has been forgotten in these modern times. If you’ve never heard of Hildegard of Bingen, I would encourage you to do a little of your own investigations on her life and the contributions she made to humanity during her lifetime.

After getting my quick practice done, it was time for me to head over to St. Paul, so I grabbed my music folio and off I went. Fortunately I didn’t have to wait for someone to open up the church because one of the members pulled up just as I was parking my car. With there being no waiting time on my part, I stopped in their office to make a few copies and then headed up to their gallery to get all the lights and switches turned on. Once again I’m very thankful I took the initiative to purchase a real piano light for them because I can already tell it’s making a big difference with my playing.

They had another visiting pastor, and today’s was a retiree from Kanawha. We had a nice visit, and was surprised when hearing she’d played organ and piano for nearly twenty years, but now that’s she’s retired, that’s no longer one of her priorities. It’s always fun to hear the life stories from the many visiting pastors they’ve had, and most of them being retired and just filling in when necessary.

After listening to their gospel reading which talked about a rich man and a camel going thru the eye of a needle, my first thought was if she would speak of the real meaning of that parable. I was surprised she did, and it came out of left field when she mentioned something about archeological excavations. Hers was a little different than what I remember, but it pretty much lined up with the real meaning. That’s another little “look up” for all of you to find the supposed true meaning of a camel passing thru the eye of a needle. I’ll give you a little hint by saying the “eye” is very narrow pass which connected one biblical town to another. With that said, a rich man being weighted down and likely bloated by all of his wealth, you would assume a tall and skinny camel would be able to pass where he couldn’t. Make sense?

As I was walking out, one of their members stopped to tell me how she’s been diligently working on re-familiarizing herself with the piano by saying, “I got thru book one, but when I started on book two, I realized I needed to go back to book one and get more practicing done.” I smiled and said, “It all a matter time, so please don’t give up hope because all it takes is establishing a daily regimen.” While walking to my car, I still couldn’t believe there aren’t more people attending their church. Oh well, perhaps someday there’ll be re-discovered because once a very many years ago, I played for one of their Services, and that church was nearly full of people. Oh how times have changed.

I had a few text messages that came in while I was at St. Paul, so I responded to them and then changed into my work clothes and headed out to get some more outdoor work done on this beautiful Fall day. While working, I was paying even closer attention to the shadows created by our lowered sun, along with focusing on the changing of colors of our trees and bushes. While digging around, I actually found several baby bushes which I’ll have to dig up and transplant to more appropriate locations. What a rare find.

After about five hours of nearly non-stop work, I figured it was time to quit for the day, so I got a good look and what I’d done, and then said to myself, “Yes, it’s been a good day for you Mr. Chodur.” I’m just hoping this weather continues to hold out because every free hour I have on my weekends, will bring me closer to the finish line. I’m now wondering what I’ll be like come winter when I can’t be outdoors very long because I’m definitely not a winter enthusiast.

The above photo is one I managed to take of last evening’s sky which was about the best shot ever of a crescent moon along with what I believe is Venus a little below and to the right of it. It’s kinda creepy but also cool, and certainly worth sharing.

As I was driving home, I cruised past Cent Credit Union to get a better look at that big flag they’re flying, and instead of it being a blue stripe, it’s actually a red one, and the stars are white with a black background. For the life of me I have no idea what that’s supposed to represent. In my book, you don’t fly such flags unless they’re flying below our true national flag. I’m sure you’ve noticed that anytime we have more than one flag flying, the first and highest one, is our national flag. So much for protocol.

I’ve got a busy morning already scheduled, so I’m going to enjoy what few hours are left of this second Sunday of October. I hope you’re all doing similarly.

Tonight’s One-liner is: The problem with pity parties, is very few people come, and the ones that do, don’t bring gifts.

Joe Chodur

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