The Parable of the Man with the Withered Hand has always intrigued me. The healing comes from Jesus’ directive, “Stretch out your hand.” How often we go through life with withered hands…hands that pull back in selfishness and self-absorption. What begins with withered hands soon affects our hearts and our minds as we shrivel into a “my way” view of life.
And yet in the reaching out there is healing. In the reaching out there is a re-connecting…in the reaching out there is a re-attaching to the Body of Christ in which His love and strength infuses the souls of His people.
Yes, in the reaching out comes the healing from within.
Who gave permission for the “should be’s” and the “should have beens” to rule my life? The “should be’s” propel one into the future and the “should have beens” chain one to the past. Hushing the holler is key to living in the present…in the here and now…in the wonder of the moment…within the Great I Am.
Recently I had an appointment in a nearby, small town. I had had a week of the “should be” “should have been” sing song. Straddling between the past and the present is exhausting! And in the noise, I had misread my planner and arrived an hour early. And so I thought…what would it be like if I got lost for an hour…purposely lost?
And so I did.
I noticed the humorous names of stores, observed whole flocks of birds flying overhead, learned about the town’s large but friendly squirrels, smiled at all the dogs lounging as if it was Saturday, read interesting historical markers, and marveled at all the people walking about.
The more lost I got…the din of the “should be’s” and “should have beens” lessened.
Purposely getting lost ushered me into the wow of what’s happening and the simplicity of the scene before me.
There is power in the present…It is there we find true peace. Getting purposely lost from time to time must make God smile…getting purposely lost was just what the Divine Physician ordered.
“We must leave ourselves behind if we hope to have even a glimpse of our true potentialities. But this surrender of self is the thing we find most difficult and so rarely succeed in. To the modern mind it makes no sense…Only by voluntary unreserved surrender to God can we find our home…” Fr. Alfred Delp
“The gift which we received from Christ Jesus in Holy Baptism is not destroyed, but is only buried as a treasure in the ground. And both common sense and gratitude demand that we should take good care to unearth this treasure and bring it to light. Therefore, my friends, I urge you,
Become what you already are…
Find Him who is already yours…
Listen to Him who never ceases speaking to you…
Own Him who already owns you. “
(St. Gregory of Sinai)
Do you know/remember the date of your Baptism? Do you celebrate this “birth”day? Do you pass this tradition on to your children, family and friends? Certainly we should celebrate intensely the day we became children of God and celebrate this day with all our family in Christ.
Today is the remembrance of the Baptism of the Lord…may we offer thanks for the gift given, although not deserved, and let this treasure be a light to all those who are still searching.
These boots are made for walking…right into the New Year 2016. How will you enter into the New Year? We are hearing a lot about resolutions, but as a positive psychology practitioner, I would like to point out…
Resolutions focus on changing something we perceive as wrong in our lives. Beginning with the negative often ends in the negative. How about starting 2016 with the positive? With ONE WORD. ONE WORD that represents a new focus, a new outlook, a special quality that marks the way ahead. Words are powerful…a single word can inspire, motivate, connect, build up and forge a path forward when that ONE WORD becomes a signpost on our journey. I challenge each of you to prayerfully ask God to reveal to you ONE WORD, YOUR ONE WORD, for the path ahead this year. Then post this word somewhere you frequent, ponder it, chew on it, allow it to transform your faith filled, journey ahead! (partially re-posted from New Year 2015, because I know how powerful this New Year’s tradition can become in your life and the lives of your loved ones. Listen to their words as well and let that guide your prayers for them for the upcoming year)
Your boots will walk right into the New Year with a positive, faith filled stride!
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language…And next year’s words await another voice.” T. S. Eliot
in spite of threats of terrorism…in spite of financial instability and an unpredictable economy…in spite of violence and health crises…in spite of opposition against the dignity of human life and the war against families…in spite of a rise in the use of illegal drugs and human trafficking…in spite of the apathy of many.
Let the weary world rejoice…
Let us lay down our burdens in surrender to God..
As we struggle to walk forward in the heaviness of our burdens…we soon find…
The angel said to the shepherds, ” I proclaim to you a great joy… today the Savior of the world is born for you, alleluia.”
For you…for me…for all.
The Greatest Gift ever given.
No other gift given or received today makes sense without first receiving this Greatest Gift given.
Are we entranced by the pretty wrap and bow and have yet to open The Gift?…Have we put it on a shelf at a comfortable distance from our lives? …How are we certain we have opened The Gift?…
When the love of Christ compels us to share The Gift with others…in that often quiet, but unique way, that God intends for our lives to become through His grace perfect acts of love that give witness to Him.
Merry Christmas to all my readers…may the love of Christ compel you to share The Gift with all on your life’s path,