When the coast is clear

When I think of Jimmy Buffett, I don’t usually think of spiritual growth or renewal. This is, after all, the man who gave us such spiritually uplifting lyrics as “Why don’t we get drunk and screw?” and “wastin’ away again in Margaritaville.” But this evening, a televised benefit concert for the Gulf Coast provided the answer to prayer.

It hadn’t occurred to me until tonight, but the Deep Horizon oil spill is a pretty accurate metaphor for the disaster that my spiritual life has become this summer. Like BP, I’ve been sloppy about maintaining the safeguards that protect my thought from the dark, messy contamination that invariably spews forth when mortal mind is allowed to operate unchecked, and like the sea creatures in the path of the spill, I’ve found myself mired in error, struggling to stay afloat.

This evening, as I was frantically trying to sort out a difficult calculus assignment, Ron turned on the TV, and out floated the Coral Reefers’ soothing steel drums.

All day, I’d been praying to remember how to let go of the fear, anger, and frustration that have been clouding my thought all summer, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when Buffett sang a set of revised lyrics to “When the Coast Is Clear” that included this line:

“We’re gonna have to work to see that the coast is clear.”

Work to see? That sounds like something that would come out of a practitioner’s mouth, I thought. I scribbled the line on the edge of my math assignment.

A moment later, he reinforced the lesson:

“Anger makes us doubtful, while fear can cloud the view.”

Heh, I thought. That’s got Mrs. Eddy’s fingerprints all over it:

“Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious–as Life eternally is–can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not.”
Mary Baker Eddy

Apparently the voice of God sounds like Jimmy Buffett. Who knew?

Emily

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