It’s Sunday morning at 7 a.m. Why is my blackberry beeping under the covers … vibrating by my foot? What could I possibly have to do at 7 on a Sunday morning?
That’s right. My friend Court Coursey had told me about an Episcopalian church in Beverly Hills called All Saint’s Church www.allsaintsbh.org. My brother is an Episcopalian priest so I phoned him up to ask him if he had ever heard of it.
“Kate, it’s one of the powerful Episcopalian churches in America,” he told me with a touch of awe in his voice. Huh, I thought. I’ll give it a whirl.
What an incredible experience. I parked on the street and crept into a stunningly serene chapel a few minutes late. The Reverend Carol Anderson was speaking. I knew it instantly; she’s a New Yorker. A Manhattanite – her last gig had been at St. James church up on Madison Avenue and 71st on the Upper East Side.
As I settled in to actually listen to her sermon – not hear, listen – I caught the tail end of the first paragraph.
“What is your single purpose in life … your singleness of purpose? Is it your job, money, fame, impact, finding the right person to spend you life with?”
She told the story of watching a movie star (who she refrained from naming – much to my chagrin) walking down the side walk … swarmed by a throng of paparazzi. The femme fatal was on her cell phone … casually gliding down the street, chatting away, as if nothing was happening around her. The leather-jacket clad men and their assistants darting in front of her, flash bulbs popping: through the utter chaos of it all she appeared tranquil – unfazed. (I immediately thought … well she IS an actress.) Anyway, the punch line of Reverend Anderson’s apocryphal tale was the following: “I suddenly realized that this glammed up woman wasn’t actually going anywhere. She was posing for the cameras.”
I’m sure you can guess what’s next. OK, here goes. Where ARE we all going, she asked? How are we choosing to prioritize our lives? Reverend Anderson said something that I’d heard many times before but it hadn’t struck me so profoundly as it did that morning. “Just when we think we’ve gotten enough money, or that perfect job, or hit the top of the heap in Hollywood … don’t we always stop and wish we had just a little bit more?”