Monday, November 29, 2010
It started to storm yesterday, and the afternoon after service was spent doing winter things we had been putting off: stacking the last of the wood gathered this blessed autumn, covering it (mostly) to keep it dry, moving things that cannot be frozen into the warm, crowded areas of our home. This morning, the storm continues, with additional snow, and I find myself reflecting on a recent Daily Word about how Jesus calmed the storm with the words, “Peace, Be Still.” That particular Daily Word talked about how we can seek inner peace when we are faced with our own storms within.
In my mind, “Peace, Be Still” calms more than my internal storm. It opens me up to the power of knowing that everything is as its supposed to be; that there is Divine Order within the very winds of the storm itself. For if everything is as its supposed to be, then there is a purpose, a discovery to be made about the storm that occupies my thoughts. I may not like to make the discovery, and probably not the experience of the storm itself, but I know that within it can lie a lesson for me, a way of attuning my everyday existence to the purpose and strength of God within.
Once I grasp the reality that everything really is as its supposed to be, I relax and let the storm within me subside, while mindfully watching for insight, for purpose. I move into full awareness of my true nature as an expression of Divine Order itself.
Everything is as its supposed to be.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
A delicious autumn breeze
Caresses my face like an old lover,
Gentle, and with intimate knowledge.
This is my season of glory,
For even when winter comes,
It will always be autumn in my heart,
Full of richness and abundance,
Although winter has its own soft beauty
And deserves to be treasured, too.
Have you blessed yourself today? This poem was part of my own awakening, my own searching for the essential part of me…coached, as it was, by the splendor of a gorgeous autumn like we have had this year.
If you are sensitive and have your eyes open, you will find Nature has wonderful stories, allegories that have meaning far beyond their surface. The root story, of course, is that this magnificent world is, as you are, an expression of God. By letting yourself sink into what you see, you can experience this and many other lessons on many other levels, for you are a part of Nature, you are not separate from it. You are an expression of God in action…and whether or not you think you live up to that magnificent billing, it is nonetheless true. So bless yourself! Acknowledge your sacred being! You really are quite splendid, you know.
This poem was published in Eber & Wein's
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
When we look around us at this beautiful world we live in, when we hear inspiring words or song, when we see happiness on a loved one’s face, we can’t help but marvel at God’s magnificence – it is a humbling feeling to see such richness, even as we are filled with joy. But when it comes to our time, talent, or treasure, we often withhold giving, out of fear we personally haven’t enough to part with any of it. During this season of giving, those concerns may arise more frequently as our desire to give comes up against our fears of scarcity.
Happily, we are hearing more these days about abundance, and how giving can actually increase our wealth…one can find several websites that promise increased income if you use their system, their words, their affirmations. I think, sometimes, that they are missing an integral part of what true abundance is…no formula can replace gratitude for the splendor of our daily lives and our recognition of the blessings we have. There are so many things we can be grateful for, sometimes very simple ones like being warm when it is cold outside, and having enough to eat, which most of us do. Even our “problems” can be seen as blessings, perhaps pointing the way to a lesson, a change, or an opportunity for acceptance.
Yes, we are a part of that same magnificence! As divine inheritors, divine expressions of God, at the very center of our being we are the love, the solutions, the joy, and the closeness to God that we seek. We are abundance, too, it is as close to us as our breath…and with that very abundance as our nature, we share the joyful responsibility to make our love, our light shine.
And we ourselves continue the flow of abundance as we give, for as we give, we receive. Sometimes our gifts are not financial, but time, attention, and friendship. We reach out, we love, we offer ourselves. As we acknowledge the abundance of our lives through our divine inheritance, we open the floodgates to more richness, love, and joy in our own lives as well as to more joy in helping others.
We share this abundance through our tithes and our love offerings, through our prayers and our prayer requests…we share it through our giving of our time, talent, and our treasure, not just to our spiritual homes and families, but to our community and to the world. We share it when we answer the call to do more, be more, give more.
Through these gifts, we are indeed the abundance we seek.
May your Thanks and Giving bring opportunities for love and happiness to you!
Monday, November 22, 2010
We have been blessed with an exceptionally long fall, rich in color, softening reluctantly into the deeper golds and purples of approaching winter. But last night a miracle happened: it snowed, the first snowfall of the season. What a delight to wake up to! Everything is quiet, each twig and branch outlined in snow, the messy details of fall smoothed over and hidden under a blanket of white. The structure that underlies the forest and trees, the buildings and roads is visible, pure. I can see the beauty easily, each hill and meadow, each branch and twig; intricate yet simple. Its the pattern of life that connects us all. It is ancient, but new, and fresh, and somehow different.
Like the beauty outside, it is so much easier to see our own spirituality when we simplify our vision and soften the messy details of our existence through the focusing power of prayer. The daily details of our lives are hidden under the blanket of silence, and we can see who we are, not just people of value, but the very expression of Spirit Itself. We are ancient, God’s creation, yet new, fresh, and somehow each different.
Its so easy to avoid taking that step into the silence of meditation, easy to avoid quieting the monkey mind that chatters of our daily duties and preoccupations, for that seems to be our “normal” state. Yet without journeying into peace, soft as a new snowfall, we may find it difficult to stay centered, aware. We may lose sight of the simplicity of our Being in the messy details of life. It happens to everyone, I believe, certainly it happens to me and people I know. But the answer is as simple and pure as the act of prayer itself.The Silence awaits, and welcomes us.