What you notice when you slow down...
During this time of Covid-19, I've found myself wanting to make sure I stay connected to God. After all, could things get any worse? A pandemic, George Floyd's death reminding us that racism is rampant and never was eradicated, people losing loved ones and on ventilators themselves, a country divided....and the list goes on and on. However, as honorable as my intention has been to remember my spiritual disciplines, I have to admit that much of my quiet time has been scheduled rather than embraced.
Yesterday, something happened worth mentioning. I woke up to the fact that this beautiful weather and these warm temps would not be here forever and there are other places to sit in the sacred silence besides my front porch. So I gathered my journal, jumped on my bike and headed to the river. Honestly, from the moment I arrived this Peace came over me. I settled in, gazed at the river a few moments then set my timer for 20 minutes of Centering Prayer. Well, 16 minutes later and in the most relaxed state my eyes drifted open to the most enchanting scene. No more than 6 feet away and on the river, a gathering of ducks who seemed fine with our shared space. For an instant, I thought, "Whoa! You have 4 more minutes, sister, with God. Close your eyes." Ha! Perhaps it was God, doing God's thing when my eyes were opened. Perhaps God was asking me to see past my timer into God's creation! Could it be? Hopefully, you are taking time this summer to also see the depths and beauty of God's amazing Creation. It can be easy to get caught up in the devastating 24/7 news and believe that Hope no longer exist. Not "hope" in the context of wishful thinking, but a spiritual Hope that assures us of a Power Greater than ourselves. Here’s what I noticed as I sat by the river.
...And what if we were the ducks and the river were God?
1. Ducks appear to be sitting still upon the water. But a closer look reveals a slight movement of their webbed feet against the current.
It is possible to “be still”, as the heart beats, the lungs breathe, and the mind thinks. The “sacred current” will hold us.
2. A duck uses the water upon which it floats to groom itself.
I can merely believe in God w
ho holds me or I can bathe in the cleansing Grace that surrounds me.
3. Ducks and Geese are compatible, yet they don’t look alike.
We are all the same in our humanity despite how we look.
4. A mother on a paddle board is towing 2 young children in a kid-size kayak. The little boy is working the oars as though he is on his own.
God forges through the waters of life ahead of us, as we paddle believing we are in control.
5. A goose can perch on one leg and be relaxed.
We are capable of more than we think.
6. A duck on a rock quacks and squabbles a bit as another duck pushes it off a rock. The misplaced duck swims away, no worse for the wear.
We are resilient to societal injustice.
7. Five-minutes later the goose is still on one leg.
We are capable of MUCH more!
8. Nothing cuter than a duck in “tip-up” position eating from the bottom with its feet just propelling away!
Eat! Dance! Pray!
9. Geese are bigger but will share the rock.
The bigger you are, the greater your capacity to share.
10. Ducks can sleep through the loud noise of a lawn mower.
We don’t have to react.
11. Ducks and geese move when the lawn mower gets too close.
We’ll know when we need to move.
12. Teenagers on paddle boards are fit and have flat stomachs.
We all age. We are more than our bodies. (Okay….I digressed to my egoic-self.)
13. Kayaks going down river are faster.
When we’re in the flow of the Holy, life is easier.
14. You go up the river, paddling against the current first.
The “first half” of life makes the “second half” of life worth the wait.