I wonder if you are like me and enjoy watching highlight reels and blooper reels? Sometimes highlight reels are blooper reals—I’ve often had that feeling after a film that runs some bloopers as the credits roll and think, “gee, the blooper reel is more entertaining than the movie.” But think of those reels as illustrative of the spectrum of emotions in our lives.
We like, as a rule, to see highlights of games or speeches or other events because very quickly, we tap into the most inspiring moments. So highlight reels can generate hope and courage rather quickly and powerfully. We’ll say things like, “wow, look what s/he did, that is remarkable.”
Blooper reels allow us a chance to be human, to practice a self-deprecating humor that keeps our perspectives in proper balance about who we are. In the course of a day or week, we spend a lot of energy trying to be the best we can be and that means inevitably that we present positive spins on who we are, all the while keeping hidden or at least under the radar our vulnerable side. When we watch blooper reels, we end up laughing at persons who seemed perfect just moments prior to when their “malfunction” took place.
What has this got to do with anything? Well, how about a spiritual practice that could take place once a week in your life, say on a Friday at the end of the work week, or a Sunday as the week is about to unfold before you. Take a moment to run the highlight reel from the previous week and inspire yourself. In church language that would be similar to “count your blessings.” Instead of focusing all your energy on what went wrong in a week, take a few moments and name your highlights. You just might renew your courage and inspire yourself toward living more fully in the week of days ahead of you. And include in that practice a brief blooper reel. Take a moment to laugh at yourself, take yourself less seriously and rejoice –really rejoice—in being a vulnerable human being. Your humanity will be deepened by doing that.
So my highlight reel from last week would include: holding my sign at CapitolPride, made by Terryn, that colorfully had our church’s name written on it with the word INCLUSIVE and pointing to the word “Baptist” as some judgmental Westboro Baptist types were marching along the sidewalks, denouncing those who had come out to celebrate their liberation from hatred and second class citizenship. Those in the crowd in front of me cheered and drowned out the megaphone ranting of the street preacher denouncing them. Highlight. Inspiring.
My blooper reel: I was standing in the street at CapitolPride, ready to begin marching (after a two hour wait), holding my sign up when a lady in front of me looked at me and said, “your sign is upside down.” I sheepishly turned it right side up. I won’t bother you with the details of how cranky I was and how much I whined while waiting to get going in the parade. Suffice it to say, the wonderful persons from our church who were there to march were very kind and patient with me.
Highlights and bloopers. Who knew this could be a rather practical way to practice one’s spirituality? Have a week of highlights and a good laugh or two at your own expense. We are both heroic and yes, embarrassing at times. It’s okay. Live deeply and joyfully. See you Sunday~