Monday, March 31, 2008

The Wisdom of Willie Nelson

A while ago I had the idea of preaching a sermon series called "The Wisdom of . . ." with each week focusing on the wisdom of another figure. The idea came to me one day while I was cleaning the house and having my CD player shuffle through a number of different artists. "Wow! There's a sermon in that!" I kept thinking again and again and again. So I imagined preaching on the Wisdom of Stevie Wonder, the Wisdom of Sting, the Wisdom of Chris Williamson. You get the idea.

The closest I've come to seeing this idea reach fruition is a sermon I called "Willie Nelson and the Non-Toothache," in which I took a stanza from a Willie Nelson song and linked it with a teaching of the Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh about the state of "non-toothache."

Simply put, this teaching is that it's worth noting that most of the time we don't have a toothache. That may not seem overly important, but take a minute to think about that! When we DO have a toothache we're crying and moaning and saying, "If only I didn't have a toothache . . ." Well, unless you have a toothache right now (in which case you need the non-charlie-horse meditation) you are presently in that longed for state. Are you aware of that? Are you appreciating it?

There's a great Willie Nelson song called "Good Times" in which he reminisces about times past that were the kinds of moments from a life that you remember as the good times. The last verse goes like this:

Here I sit with a drink and a memory. / I'm not cold, I'm not wet,
and I'm not hungry. / Classify these as good times. / Good times.
I'm not cold, I'm not wet, and I'm not hungry. I don't have a toothache. And neither, probably, do you.

In Gassho,

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Lizard Eater said...

Hey, you stole my idea! (grin) I've been threatening to do a sermon called, "WWWD -- What would Willie Do?" for some time. Maybe this'll motivate me to write it.

He does good things, quietly, and seems to be pretty non-judgmental. The Husband is convinced that if Jesus came back, he'd look and act a lot like ole Willie.

And I love "Good Times," too. I think I have at least 3 references t it on my blog. Good song.

aa said...