Friday, April 10, 2009

All Signs Lead to Your Personal Legend

Yesterday I took the kids to "the magic garden" as they call it (Our Lady of the Shrine). We walked through the Stations of the Cross, and the Avenue of the Saints. The latter trail was tackled first, as the princess insisted on visiting the statue of St. Therese of Lisieux.

This morning I was dumping the pictures from my digital camera into the computer and was surprised by what I saw. Of course I understand the nature of photography, and the affect of sunlight on a picture, but I don't care about all that. LOOK AT THIS PICTURE. There is clearly a flame above St. Therese's head. I'm not sure what this means, but it gave me joy to see it. I related in an earlier post how much I benefited from reading her letters in The Story of a Soul. Maybe it means that she is a guide for me in my life.

Signs. Some people have a knack for explaining them and thereby transforming them into something very mundane. However, isn't it logical that God, and those souls living with Him, would reach us in ordinary ways? I love looking for signs.

I just finished reading The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. First of all, this is a great book. I read it in three hours. It is about a boy who follows his personal calling and discovers his Personal Legend. What does that mean? If you believe that each person has a purpose designed by God, and that finding that purpose brings one peace and happiness, then this book is for you. The boy learns to recognize signs that he is closer to finding his Personal Legend. Usually, God uses nature to send these signs.

"Whenever we do something that fills us with enthusiasm, we are following our legend, " Coelho writes. Seriously, that's how I feel when I write this blog. Whether I'm writing as my dog, or myself, it makes me so happy. I love writing, but I'm not completely sure if it's my "Personal Legend."

I've received signs that it might be. Case in point, about five years ago I was standing outside the rectory of my church chatting with a priest. We were speaking about his upcoming transfer to work as a hospital chaplain. In the middle of the conversation, he paused and asked,

"So, Loren, when are you going to write your book?"

I was a bit taken back by the question since it had nothing to do with our conversation and he had no idea that I secretly wished to become an author. He really hardly knew me outside of my work in parish youth ministry.

I just shrugged, so surprised that I really could not find the words to answer him. I even tried to convince myself that I had misunderstood him, since he had a very heavy accent.

"There comes a time when our personal calling is so deeply buried in our soul as to be invisible. But it's still there." (vi)

The priest saw into my soul during small talk. That was so cool. How did he do that?! So I am one of those people who believes in signs. What am I going to write? I don't know, but I'm writing every day, and that makes me happy. I needed to do this for myself.

One of the pieces of Christ's Passion that fascinates me are the moments when he falls. I thought about this yesterday as my children ran down the wooded path between the plaques.

"The secret of to fall seven times and to get up eight times." (vii)

Jesus gets up. If I were him I'm telling you honestly, I would have been down for the count the first time. Jesus understood why He was here. Fueled by love for me, and you, he got up even when his body was half dead. Jesus knew his Personal Legend at a very young age. There is evidence of this in the story of his childhood, when his parents lose him, and find him teaching in the temple. What amazing strength we have when we understand why we were born. What amazing legacies we leave when we are actually right.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter or Passover. -Loren

The last picture is the princess and big brother trying to wake up the apostles. I LOVE when they do that. Children see all the signs.


Putz said...

i enjoy your writing an awfully lot, so i must contend that maybe that is your do an exceptional job and a lot of it{hard to keep up}but i am afraid it is not mine, i must look elsewhere....but maybe that light above her head could be a sign for me to serve people, cause i do love people by going around like will smith did in seven pounds and giving away my home, my eyes my heart, my time my love, my experiences, but i feel bad i have never been a mormon bishop, or on the high counsel, or invented something for the benefit of man or be a gandhi or martin luther king...well i get depressed thinking of thigs i haven't done

Loren Christie said...

Mr. Putz,
It seems to me that you have touched a lot of lives...even mine so far away!

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

You cover alot of territory in this post, allowing us to follow your train of thought, but in a way that makes sense. You can write circles around me fersure! I'm glad you shared your sign so everyone could see it. Maybe it means "Let your light so shine!" Although St. Therese was always talking about doing things quietly so she wasn't noticed, in the end her light did shine.

Angela said...

A beautiful post. I always dreamed of writing a book too. It is scary to think of undertaking, but I think blogging is the first step! I love your blog.
Thanks for writing something that turns our hearts toward where they should be on this day, Good Friday. God Bless!

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

I just read this on "Our Daily Visitor" (Our Sunday Vistor website): "After this day of emptiness, the Easter Vigil begins with light: one small flame, the Easter Candle, that is shared with all the others in the vigil process-sion, until the church is filled with light. Whenever we find ourselves in the emptiness of Holy Saturday, let's place our hope in the light of Christ, present with us, even in our darkness."

Loren Christie said...

Hi Elizabeth, Well it does look like a candle!

Milk Man said...

I think I found my personal legend. However, it is on the golf course. Any chance I can go get it?

Putz said...

my question loren, with face book and twitter, why spend so much time with us on your blog?

rhymeswithplague said...

Loren, you have written a beautiful and excellent post. Food for thought. Thank you.

Mr. Putz just asked me the same question on my blog.

Loren Christie said...

Thanks for the thoughtful comments everyone. Mr. Putz, I started the blog to improve my writing, to get feedback and exposure. Also, I was drowning in scribble on napkins and scrap paper. I've lost countless ideas and stories before the blog because I was not organizing my thoughts in one place. As far as why I don't Twitter or Facebook, it's because I just want to write. Twitter doesn't give me enough space. I don't have time for all that sending smiles and joining mobs on Facebook. It's hard enough to find time to write daily.
Milk Man, Have you found your calling on the golf course?! The MAGIC EIGHT BALL tells me it's not likely. :)

jenX67 said...

That photo is just amazing. I am such a novice w/ this - knowing only enough to be dangerous - but I think this is an example of Kirlian photography - likened to the human aura - where energy from the physical world transfers to film. ???? here is a link.

I have a photo I took of the steeple at St. Francis of Assissi Catholic Church in OKC - nearby a statue of Jesus. The light all around is a brilliant pinkish-purple. I've wanted to publish on my blog for a long time. Maybe the time is now.

Loren Christie said...

Wow Jen, that's really interesting-I'll check this link out tomorrow. Thanks so much!

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.


Loren Christie

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