Does God Use Sketch Writers?

A scene from "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"
On TV's wildly funny and often naughty Whose Line Is It Anyway?," one of the popular improvisational skits is "people props," whereby two cast members become props in the skit and two audience members have to move them appropriately. And I'm using "appropriately" very advisedly. Very.

(I'm sure when all the folks standing in line for the audience are chatting pre-show, they assure each other that they're not only up for being chosen, they're gonna be hilARious. Neither of those things is true.)

The audience members are briefly given their instructions: the "props" can only more their arms and legs one at a time and only when the audience member taps them on the limb they want move. As you might imagine, this ends up with some very interesting walks. For the purpose of the skit, it's a humorous method of movement.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I'd stumbled off into the spiritual weeds as I said my morning prayers. I wasn't too worried about getting lost. After all, A) I've been lost before and survived B) God is with me and He is never lost. I am, however, curious.

What's next?

I haven't worked in two years, and I'm not sure I'll ever have a paying job again. My chronic pain makes my life, my availability pretty unpredictable at times. It makes planning hard. So, what is next? How will God use me?

Then I remember the guys on Whose Line, getting slapped on the legs, haltingly walking in circles. I'm expecting God to slap me on the leg, moving me in a certain direction, while making me abundantly clear what direction I'm moving in.

What's that you say? God doesn't use that same techniques as Hollywood sketch writers and performers? Frankly, it might explain a lot.

Actually, He just might.

God doesn't usually hand out a well-plotted map, highlighting great features along the way but with a destiny marked out in red-pen circles. God seems to be more subtle (if you can call 40 years in the desert subtle.) 

Here's the thing: I think He's just not ready to slap me in the leg yet to have me move in a certain direction. I think that when God believes me to be ready (and not a moment before, because that would cause me harm, and God could not - it goes against His very nature - cause me harm), he will tap my leg. He will make it abundantly clear what direction I should go in, because He knows I often don't get a clear signal, and off we'll go.

The Bewildered Drummer Boy

[Before we get started today, I am fully aware that I have been away for months. I'll address that in the days to come. But not today.]

My prayer life over the past months has been spotty. Okay, it's been non-existent, unless you count desperate "Oh, Gods" muttered in pain in the emergency department. Which I don't. 

I have been trying to pray more. Thankfully, Mother Church, in her wisdom, gives us formal prayers throughout the day so that we are not left to our own devices.  Today, I began my day with morning prayer, but I quickly derailed, which is a common problem when you're trying to make prayer a habit. This morning, the very first thing I prayed was: To Christ our newborn King let us sing a song of rejoicing, alleluia!

And that did it. I was off in the weeds.

Rejoicing? I thought. Were all the visitors to the manger rejoicing? I bet they weren't. It's not like they all knew exactly what was happening and could see with perfectly clarity how Christ's birth would not only affect current events but historical and future events as well.

I'm betting the shepherds did not whip out a flute made expressly for this purpose, start playing "The Sound Of Music" and join up with the Little Drummer Boy for a perfectly played piece. Nope, I'm betting that, even with the angel's explanations, they were all a bit overwhelmed. Bewildered, even.

The Wise Men weren't even Jewish. They left everything they knew to FOLLOW A STAR. That's a little nutty. And they finished their trip under what was tantamount to a death threat. Rejoicing? Maybe they were rejoicing, but they were doing it very, very quietly. 

And then there is me. It's been a tough year to rejoice. I haven't been able to go to Mass for a few weeks due to health reasons. Trust me, it is tough to rejoice at home, in your living room when you really, really want to be at Mass. And those health reasons keep getting more and more severe, making rejoicing more and more difficult. 

This year, I'm gonna hang out in the corner of the manger, next to the sheep who seem a bit out of sorts having so many people in their barn. I'll talk to the Drummer Boy, who is happy to be here, even if he isn't exactly sure why - he knows that Baby isn't an ordinary Baby. And the Shepherds - all they can talk about is the Messiah. Could it be possible that the Promised One could be an infant? 

It's been a bewildering year, a bewildering Christmas. I'm still off here in the weeds, trying to find my way back home. The thing to do is to follow the song of rejoicing, even if it seems a bit bewildering. Just follow the sounds of rejoicing.

Off In the Weeds No More

As promised, I said I'd address why I hadn't been posting much. Part of me wants to say I have nothing to write, but that is the ...