By Ken Rolheiser
Some folks say they will do something but do not do it; they are called hesi-tators. Some folks spend a lot of time sitting and peering into the garden; they are called meditators. And some folks never seem motivated to participate, but are content to watch others; they are called speck tators.
If you had all the eyes of a real “tator” you might see where I am going. Let me segue into my column with this:
'Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me...
The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste
At the holiday parties had gone to my waist…
The punch and the candy, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd not said, "No thank you, please."…
I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore---
But isn't that what January is for? Author Unknown
Dr. Don Colbert, author ofWhat Would Jesus Eat? would agree that as we start a New Year, it’s time to take a good look at esp fitness - that’s emotional, spiritual and physical fitness. It is not a joke that Christians don't feel like they can drink or use drugs, but they do feel they have a license to eat.
If we don’t recognise gluttony as something we need to enlist God’s help to fight, we can lose the physical battle there. The devil wins when even some of our clergy die an early death because of obesity or alcoholism. It happens.
I am not being judgemental, but we can see the need for balance in the emotional, spiritual and physical fitness. Bishop Robert Morneau proposes a way to achieve this balance by comparing areas of our lives to gardens.
The Creator put us in a garden to grow, prosper and subdue the earth:
1.The Garden of the Body needs proper nutrition, exercise and rest; and avoid chemical abuse, smoking…obesity.
2.Garden of the Soul –quiet time to listen to and speak to God.
3.Garden of Family and Friends –forgive, love and serve.
4.Garden of the Globe – includes environment, natural resources and recycle.
5.Garden of Emotions – seek harmony, avoid stress and depression; cultivate quiet time and solitude.
6.Garden of the “Polis” – be politically aware, involved and informed. Vote.
7.Garden of the Mind – Keep learning.Develop God’s gifts.
8.Garden of Decisions – work toward understanding and consensus; keep the vision and mission of Jesus in mind.
9.Garden of the Chip – Use technologyto serve God.
10.Garden of History – learn the lessons of history, especiallyFaith history, the bible, and family and church history.
11.Garden of the Arts – Cultivate your talents and support the Arts.
12.Garden of Money – Be grateful for God’s gifts and share generously with church and charities.
I used to compare my daily life to a garden, and at night I would reflect on the state of things. Were the weeds under control? Could I rest cheerfully from my labor? Have I prayed enough?
Devote Muslims practise ritual prayer or salat five times a day: at dawn, midday, afternoon, sunset and evening. A good Christian prays more than five times a day: morning and evening prayer, mealtimes – including Angelus at noon, rosaries, Sunday and daily liturgies during the week…
Not that it is a contest – they beat us in fasting! “The object of a New Year is not that we have a New Year, but that we have a new soul” Chesterton.