Tag Archive for: Overwhelmed

Choked with Emotions

Armodoxy for Today: Choked with Emotions

In 1985 Carl Segan and his wife Ann Druyan authored the book, “Contact.” The story was about the possibilities of contact between humans and extraterrestrial beings.  About a decade later the story was made into a motion picture starring Jodi Foster and Matthew Machaney. It was fascinating because the story was written from a science perspective, as would be expect Carl Segan who was an astronomer and planetary scientists, and very eloquently articulated scientific concepts for the average man. He was an advocate of skeptical scientific inquiry and the scientific method. Yet at the end of Contact he concedes that words and the expressions we possess are inadequate in explaining or expressing the events of the first human contact with the extraterrestrial world. In common parlance we can say he choked.

In birthing rooms, homes, and fields throughout the world, parents meeting their child for the first time are overwhelmed with tears and choke on finding the words to express that awesome moment of life. Our Lord Jesus refers to this moment, “When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world.  So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.” (John 16)

The last few days we’ve been talking about celestial events on the scale of solar eclipses. During one such event, as the Moon covered the Sun and only the solar flares were dancing around the circular disk in the sky, I was moved to sing the Armenian Hymn, sharagan, “Aravod Looso” – a praise to the morning Sunrise and to the Light. Try as I may, words were not coming out of my mouth. I was choking in emotion. Overwhelmed by the event.

Events that are bigger than life – whether exploding in the cosmos or the first glance at new life, humble us. They choke our voice so we speak with our heart, and a tear in our eye. They are subtle reminders of the grandeur of God.

We pray from the Book of Sirach, Because of him each of his messengers succeeds, and by his word all things hold together. We could say more but could never say enough; let the final word be: “He is the all.” Where can we find the strength to praise him?  For he is greater than all his works. Awesome is the Lord and very great, and marvelous is his power. Glorify the Lord and exalt him as much as you can, for he surpasses even that. Amen. (chapter 43)

Small Steps too

Armodoxy for Today: Small Steps

Richard Dawson was a popular game show host during the 1970s. In one episode of the “Family Feud,” he came out to the cheers of the studio audience and in front of the millions who had tuned in to the weekly show. He took a long puff from a cigarette, exhaled, threw the butt on the floor, stamped it out, turned to camera and exclaimed, “That was my last cigarette!” The audience cheered even louder. And then, without missing a beat, he added, “… for the rest of the show.”

Often, we are overwhelmed with the size and magnitude of our dilemmas and problems. The war in Ukraine has been going on for a couple of years. Artsakh was taken over by the Azeris. The war between Hamas and Israel continues with a new campaign. Next to wars, our planet is threatened by weather changes, overbearing populations and food shortages. Add to these global issues our own private and personal challenges of health, finance and relationships and it’s easy to see why so many people are overwhelmed and diagnosis of depression is on the up. We have heard the Chinese proverb, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” but our gaze is usually stretched out so far ahead that we fear inevitable defeat. We succumb to those fears and abandon the run.

Armodoxy is discovered in the long run. It has been cultivated through a history of overwhelming odds for survival and has pulled through. Armodoxy came from a people who thanked God for the day and found themselves in continuous prayer for millennia. It is the small victories, the day-to-day accomplishments that add and make the entire story of life. The smoking habit is overcome by putting out that first cigarette. That long race is won by taking the first step. Peace is achieved by the small expressions of compassion and understanding.

Take a moment to enjoy the victory of a single minute, hour, day, year and you’ll find that the prize is a life filled with meaning and purpose.

Today we pray a prayer from the Armenian Church’s Book of Hours, Jamakirk, Lord our God, we give thanks to You, for You have granted us to pass this day in peace. Grant us, O Lord, to pass this evening and the night before us without sin and stumbling, and to stand firm and abide steadfastly in faith, in hope and in love and in the observance of Your commandments. Give peace to the world and stability to Your holy Church and salvation to our souls. For to You is befitting glory, dominion, and honor, now and forever and ever. Amen.

Cover photo: Elements Envato, Cigarettes in a Pack