I like to close my eyes and imagine these restful waters by which the Lord leads me. They bring me to a place of calm in my mind. However, in real life, it seems I walk beside high surf and waves. The type of water that seems to draw you into the rip tides of busy–ness and self.
Perhaps this is what you long to reveal to us, Lord. With you there ARE restful waters…the turbulence of the crashing waves we feel as we sink in the midst, is our own stirring of the waters through pride, our “my way is the best way”, our sinfulness, and the echo of accumulated evil in the world.
You long to lead us by restful waters…those streams of everlasting life that flow forth from Your side…however we often choose the rip tides. Save me Lord from my foolish following of the high surf and lead me to that place of repose…restful waters and verdant pastures…immersed deep within Your heart and in align with your most holy will for me.
Ah…restful waters…a beautiful meditation for this next week of Lent.
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.