Both the Gospels of Matthew and Luke warn against serving two masters. But last Saturday, it seems I served three masters during a day which was not atypical of my life. The early part of the day was spent at the Fortes in Fide retreat where I gave a keynote speech. In the afternoon I spent some quality time at home with my family. And in the evening I was at the Hollywood Bowl to see Kanye West perform his album 808’s and Heartbreak.
So how do we juggle our various vocations, responsibilities, hobbies? By giving of ourselves fully and completely. By giving all of our energy and all of our attention at all times. But also by keeping our own ears, eyes, and heart open. Being in the moment and allowing ourselves to be moved.
I set out in the morning before the sun had risen, in order to catch the 7:45am mass at the retreat center. I took in the beautiful and peaceful atmosphere of the Benedictine monastery. I took the time to catch up with Fr. Eugene about his own hopes and wishes. I met old friends, and surprised my parish family. I saw many new faces, young adults who were hungry and thirsty for God. And all at varying places on our differing faith journeys, we shared a precious moment.
Back at home I took care to make memories with my children. Another afternoon spent together, playing LEGO, reading, or mostly making music together. Some days are beyond exciting, but others are more mundane. You have to take the less good ones with the better ones. It’s like bathing my children, which I have done every day of their lives since they were born (well, the elder until she turned eight). Some days I bathe them well, sometimes not so well. But what counts is that I was there every day.
And I spent the evening in the company of a frankly astonishing variety of humanity, all gathered in one place through a common fondness for one artist. I had never seen so many types of people, and I was amazed how such a polarizing figure such as Kanye could attract such a broad spectrum of followers. And again he proved himself an artist in tune with the now, in tune with the world, someone who despite being so misunderstood and vilified, just wants to give, just wants to express himself. I was moved.
I’ve made several jokes about this day. I’ve joked that I went from the sublime to the ridiculous. From a seat of holiness to a den of iniquity. I went from being a witness to mercy to being a spectator of someone much in need of mercy. I went from Jesus to Beezus to Yeezus. And so on.
But on the way home from the show, I said a quiet prayer, thanking God for the awesome richness in my life, and my day had come full circle.