For Lent a few years ago, I fasted from saying "no," which meant I feasted on saying "yes." As you might imagine, this was a challenge at first. But once I got a handle on it, I began to developed a way to say yes to everything, even if sometimes that meant I was saying no. By the end of my 40-day journey, not only had I learned new way of speaking and sharing my heart, but I also discovered how much more rewarding my life had become. I found that in my agreeing to do things I may have not wanted to do, I was participating with others who blessed me as much as I had blessed them.
Anamesa is not simply a "space between" things like you and me, or is a calculated distance between God and us. Anamesa is also an opportunity to grow spiritually, and to thrive endlessly in all that you do.
In the grand scope of the universe, our time is limited here. What we do with it matters, for our own well being and the health of all those around us. We can occupy this time rejecting others and missing out on what they have to offer by saying "no." Or we can welcome and rejoice with them - growing spiritually and healing mentally in the process.
Everyday we wake up, must be a “yes.” Every breath we take, a “yes.” Every step that moves us is an opportunity to say “yes.” And every "yes" is a commitment to connect to a deeper sense of yourself, while you build bridges to others.
“The only reason for staying in this valley of tears,” Nouwen taught, is so we can “continue the mission of Jesus who has sent us into the world as his Father sent him into the world.”
Anamesa is that space between our first breath and last, to say “yes” to moving into and with God’s love. It’s here we do the work of love, the same work Jesus himself did, and in doing so taught us how to say “yes.”
To say "yes," like this might mean going to places you may not want to go. Standing with people you try to avoid. Holding space with others who are not part of your tribe or your circle. Listening to those you disagree with. Sharing what you have with those you believe don’t deserve it. Say “yes” to God’s love is saying “yes” to giving it away as liberally as it is given to you.
Nouwen concluded, “Life is a short, often painful mission, full of occasions to do fruitful work for God’s kingdom, and death is the open door that leads into the hall of celebration where the king himself will serve us.”
The way I see it, each heartbeat that echoes within us all is an alarm clock that wakes us out of self-induced slumber. And each beat is a reminder that there is someone beyond yourself who needs your "yes." Anamesa is filled with opportunities to share and grow your love. May you walk through today fully alive, and fully awake to say “yes.”
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”