In my spin class last week, the song by the band, Shepard, was played. I was intrigued that a young, Australian pop band could revisit the battle cry of their great -grandparents. WWII soldiers parachuting out of planes shouting the name,” Geronimo”. The battle yell came after seeing a movie about an Apache chief that fought the US Army while vastly outnumbered, the ultimate warrior. Which is ironic because it is ultimately the name,Jerome, coming from Greek for Sacred. And yet defending one’s home, religion, and culture is sacred and make require the ultimate sacrifice as our young adults see with the rise of Isis and domestic terrorism.
But the band’s song is not written about warfare but jumping into a commitment with another person. The same total loss of self. True commitment to a person or idea can also be sacred. Although as adjust the tension on my spin bike and sing with the song, the setting is hardly a holy space. Yet I remember the young men jumping out of planes and riding in Humvees, the young adults creating families, taking risks in careers and relationships, and a quick prayer is lifted in thankfulness for the sacrifices of past generations and protection and prosperity for ones of the future. St. Paul directed people of faith to “pray without ceasing” which meant throughout the day, not just in times of worship or need–so chopping vegetables in the kitchen, pulling weeds in the garden, jogging, or hanging on to the spin bike can– all become sacred spaces with awareness.
When I started writing this blog after a break, I was going to write about the outward life since receiving a Fitbit as a delayed Christmas gift. With the growing secularism of the West, the outer and inner life are shown in the media as separate and yet both lives are lived as one for many, many people not just in formal institutions of church, temple, mosque.
“I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.”
― Mary Oliver
Maybe I need to be unafraid to share both my inner and outer life, to think of dangerous and noble things, to be light and frolicsome in my later years and risk looking silly or foolish. I realize playing the piano with adults next month that played for years before returning, with my baby fingers playing from book 2, I will meet this goal. Walking a 1/2 marathon with the goal to finish before everyone goes home with enjoyment and laughter is light. Spending time in a prayer vigil is a noble act.
Bombs away, Say Geronimo!