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Poklicala me je neka gospa, čigar imena nisem razumel, sem pa dojel, da kliče v imenu nekega podjetja za analizo trga. V kratko anketo sem pristal, ker sem si lahko privoščil 10 minut časa, njen pa po vsej verjetnosti prispeval k boljšemu delovnemu rezultatu. Precej na začetku spraševanja me je vprašala koliko sem star. Povedal sem ji, da 40. Nakar je dodala: ste jih že dopolnili ali jih šele boste? Ne vem točno od kje je povlekla to podvprašanje, niti ji nisem razlagal podrobnosti … ja, 40 let sem dopolnil in sicer točno na današnji dan.

Bržčas sem eden izmed vseh, ki smo morali svoje všečne načrte prilagoditi in včasih popolnoma spremeniti. Jaz sem moral denimo odpovedati praznovanje svojega 40. rojstnega dne. Načrtovanje dogodka me je nemalo zabavalo in bolj kot sem si predstavljal njegovo izvedbo, bolj sem se ga veselil. Najprej nedeljska evharistija, nato druženje v bližnjem gledališču. Vse to na domačem terenu: cerkev, v kateri sem zrasel in gledališče, v katerem se vzljubil besedo. Ob dopolnjenih 40 letih življenja nisem imel niti najmanjšega dvoma, da je to ustrezen kraj in način praznovanja. Med pripravami sem vzljubil prihajajočo starost. Kot da bi preživel obdobje čakanja ter vstopil v svobodo. Zunanji načrti in notranje projekcije so se hipoma sesule, nisem pa niti malo izgubil veselja nad izkušnjo notranje svobode. Predvsem pa je neizbrani potek dogodkov postregel s celo vrsto ugodnih izkušenj.

Začenši s praznovanjem rojstnega dneva. V povsem fizičnem smislu smo ga preživeli v isti zasedbi kot vse doslej, vsaj kar se tiče obdobja korone. V tem času nam je trem sobivajočim duhovnikom vse skupno in ugotovil sem, da znamo biti preprosti in razkošni, tihi in glasni, v vsem pa v ljubezni. In tako je bilo na rojstni dan. Privoščili smo si zdaj že natanko znan vsakdan, le da je bil ta slovesen. Učinek je bil ta, da sem ponovno odkril, da je preprosto vsakodnevno sobivanje v ljubezni vse, kar človek zares potrebuje. In da si moramo to povedati z besedo in dejanjem. In smo si: ob večernem srkanju nekega nebeško okusnega škotskega viskija. Privoščili smo si tudi prekršitev pravil ter na kosilo povabili osebo, ki ne živi v našem gospodinjstvu, pa se zato nismo počutili krive. Praznovanje življenja, ki ga imamo je nad skrbjo, da se življenju morebiti kaj naredi.

Še prej sta Markus in Gregor skrivoma na župnijski kanal platforme Youtube povabila znance, da so se nam pridružili pri slavljenju Gospoda. Zame je bilo to nepredstavljivo presenečenje, ko sem videl kakšnih 40 računalnikov iz vseh možnih koncev Evrope, ki so bili povezani z nami. Komentarji v pogovoru v živo so bili precej številni … kot je razvidno na fotografijah spodaj. Skupno nam je bilo, da smo praznovanje daru življenja in poznavanja ljubezni Gospod za vsakega od nas postavili v središče. In zato smo se lahko zares veselili. Ne bi pa se bili mogli, ko bi bili osrediščeni na opazovanje skrbi, da se nam lahko kaj zgodi.

Zaznavam, da sem pred tem prav zaradi izrednosti tega časa naredil par duhovnih korakov, ki so tlakovali to nenavadno veselo praznovanje rojstnega dne. Eden prvih je gotovo priznanje, da so trenutki, ko živim za želje, namesto da bi želel kar živim. Več kot je udobja, več je želja, in hkrati: manj je hvaležnosti za sedanji trenutek. Drugi je poslušnost. V tradicionalnem cerkvenem jeziku smo govorili o pokorščini. Le da v dani situaciji ne gre niti za Boga niti za Cerkev, pač pa za državne organe. Odločil sem se, da bom dejavno upošteval in v celoti sprejel navodila, ki sem jih dobil od oblasti (razen omenjenega gosta na včerajšnjem kosilu). Ta notranja poslušnost je v moj vsakdanjih prinesla zagon in mir. Na vsak način pa potrditev, da se poslušnost zelo pogosto splača. In končno, moji prijatelji v Afriki in južni Ameriki radi in pogosto izrekajo Če Bog da. Ta kratek stavek ni nobena zguljena fraza brez resne vsebine, temveč zelo resna in iskrena ugotovitev. Pač ne živijo v preobilju materialnega in iz izkušnje vedo, da stvari mogoče ne bodo izvedljive, naj bodo načrti še tako všečni. Prav zdravilno je, da smo bili postavljeni v okolje in čas, ki nam ne zagotavlja nobenih resničnih načrtov in nam torej ne preostane drugega, kot da iskreno in v resnici rečemo Če Bog da. A ravno to je tako osvobodilno.

English

Turning 40

I received a call from a certain lady whose name I did not recall. I understood she is calling for a company that is doing the analysis of the market. After her introduction, I agreed to answer a questionnaire because I thought I could spend 10 minutes with her, and because I thought that would increase her working results. One of the first questions was my age. I told her I was 40, but she then added: have you already turned 40, or will you have turned 40? God only know where did she get the inspiration for that question, and neither did I give her the details … well, this is happening on this very day.

I probably am only one of all the people who had to adapt or change the perfect plans. When it comes to me, I had to cancel the party for my 40th birthday. The organization and whole planning of the event were great fun, and the more I imagined it, the more I was looking forward to it. It should start with a Sunday eucharist, followed by a very nearby theater. The church in which I grew up and the theater in which I fell in love with the word. I haven’t had even the smallest doubt about it: this is the right place and way of celebrating my 40th birthday. I actually started to like having this age. It seems as if I had gone through the waiting period to then enter freedom. All of a sudden, my plans and desires collapsed. At the same time, I haven’t lost the joy of my inner freedom, not even for a moment. Furthermore, the scenario for which I have never opted allowed me to live all kinds of good experiences.

The birthday celebration, to begin with. In a purely physical sense, we have lived the day in precisely the same way as all the other days, ever since the corona time started. That means that we, the 3 priests living together, share everything. I realized we know how to be modest or grand, silent or loud, having charity in the center. And so it was on my birthday. We have had exactly the same kind of a day, just that this time it was festive. Consequently, we discovered yet once more that all that a human being needs is a shared loved one. The latter has to be expressed in words and deeds, so we did that while sipping scandalously tasty Scotch from our bar. We also decided to break the rules and to invite a person to come over for lunch. We didn’t feel guilty because of that. To celebrate the life which we have goes above the worry that to this same life something might happen.

Markus and Gregor secretly organized a live stream event on Youtube and invited friends to join us at the worship. It was an unimaginable surprise to see over 40 computers all across Europe being connected at the same time. Live chat was very much alive as you can see below. The point we had in common was that we all concentrated on one same thing: the celebration of the gift of life and knowing the love of the Lord for each one of us. That’s why we were overwhelmed by joy. We couldn’t have done it if we had put the worry because of the life-risks in the center.

This particular time made me do some spiritual steps which represent some kind of a foundation for this extraordinary but joyful celebration of my birthday. One of the first ones was to accept that there were moments when I lived for my desires, rather than desiring what I live. The more there is comfort, the more there are desires, but also, the less there is thankfulness for a given moment. The second is obedience. Just that in this very case, it is not about God or Church but towards the official authorities. I decided to actively respect and entirely accept the instructions we were given by the state (except for having a guess for lunch). This personal obedience brought tons of enthusiasm and peace into my being. Above all, I received the confirmation that this attitude always pays off. Lastly. My friends in Africa of Latin America like to say God willing, and they say it often. This short sentence is no empty phrase with no real content. It is instead a serious and sincere observation. Often time they don’t live in an overabundance of stuff, and they know from experience that things might not work out as planned. It is a healing situation to be forced to live time with no real plans. So we don’t have many other options than to sincerely and honestly say God willing. Precisely this is such a freeing experience.

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