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July 2016

I woke up tired on a cloudy, snowy day.

I woke up thinking of a duty I had to do in the near future.

Why did it seem so heavy?

I felt like much of my future depended on performing it successfully.  Even though I remembered some past unpleasant experiences connected with this duty,  I’d done them well.

Why was I so anxious that morning?

I said I trust in God.

I believed God would help me through it, pleasant or unpleasant.  But my anxious feelings remained.

I struggled to understand.

I prayed.  I asked for God’s peace.  I struggled.  I hoped.  I petted my cat.  I played the piano.  I breathed deeply.  I wrote my thoughts.

It was hard to let go of the anxiety.

I prayed and knew that God was with me.  Yet, the feelings remained unchanged.  This is life.

The sun broke through for a brief instant and hid again above the clouds.

The snow continued to fall.  It didn’t seem so pretty on that dreary day.  My heart was heavy.

I looked for a certain scripture that I thought would be helpful.  Instead of the one for which I was searching, I came across this passage in Matthew 6:32b-34.

“Your heavenly Father knows all you need.  Seek first God’s dominion over you, God’s way of holiness and all these things will be given you besides.  Enough, then, of worrying about tomorrow.  Let tomorrow take care of itself.  Today has troubles enough of its own.”

I tried to focus on living in the present moment, an ancient Christian practice, knowing that God is present.  This is easier said than done.  I remembered reading a book many years ago called  The Practice of the Presence of God.  It was written by  Brother Lawrence a few centuries ago but is still applicable today.

So I ended that day still feeling like God was absent though I knew that wasn’t true. At the same time knowing that each moment is the important one.   I reminded myself to focus on the Holy One’s presence and be assured that God is always present with me even on dreary days.

July 24, 2016 0 comment
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Late last summer a friend gave me a small different kind of geranium plant.  Instead of the usual red petals making up the blossoms, these flowers had what looked like tiny red roses clustered together to make up the blossom.

I kept it and nurtured the small plant through the winter and spring in hopes it would live and blossom.  It looked pretty spindly at the end of winter.  But after the frost, I put it on the balcony where it gets several hours of sunlight.  It grew into a lovely green plant but no buds or flowers.  I kept watering it and fertilizing it.  I almost gave up hope of having more than a nice large green plant.

Finally in the middle of June several small buds appeared.  They aren’t large blossoms but they opened up to small, beautiful, red, rose-like clusters.  The plant is now full of these lovely blossoms.

Their slow growth to blossom reminds me to be patient with myself.  It teaches me that growth usually is slow to become permanent.  Waiting is important.

Portions of Psalm 40 from The Message:  by Eugene H. Peterson  speak to me of the importance of waiting.

Psalm 40

“I waited and waited and waited for God

At last he looked; finally he listened.

He lifted me out of the ditch.

Pulled me from deep mud.

He stood me up on a solid rock

To make sure I wouldn’t slip.

He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,

A praise-song to our God.

More and more people are seeing this;

They enter the mystery,

Abandoning themselves to God.

Blessed are you who give yourselves over to God,

Turn your backs on the world’s “sure thing.”

Ignore what the world worships,

The world’s a huge stockpile

Of God-wonders and God-thoughts.

Nothing and no one

Come close to you!

I start talking about you, telling what I know,

And quickly run out of words

Neither numbers nor words

Account for you.

Doing something for you, bringing something to you –

That’s not what you’re after.

Being religious, acting pious –

That’s not what you’re asking for.

You’ve opened my ears

So I can listen…”

Thank you, Understanding God, for giving us beautiful new flowers that inspire us.  They remind us that growth can be slow and that you are always supporting us in the process. Keep opening our ears to listen to you.  Amen.

 

 

 

July 6, 2016 0 comment
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