Monday Meditation – Challenge

The woods declare the Glory of God.  This was the thought that came to me as I took a walk this weekend.  It has been my experience that everything is a lesson but I find that nature is an exceptional teacher.  Each stroll or view provides new insights into who I am and where I fit in the creation.  Each meditation on the beauty in the stillness speaks volumes better than the A – Z in my old Britannica Encyclopedia.

Take a walk with me in these woods, silent except for bird and cricket song.  The scent of pine occasionally breezes by.  The soft floor of old leaves, moss and acorns provides a silencing of footfall and a gentle ground to stand.  Some trees are so tall, high above our heads as they reach for the sunlight.  Others, small and thin sit in their shadows with anticipation of growth.  Some of the larger trees bear scars of natures effects, broken branches, leaning and bent in unusual growth.  The sun which covers the tallest of tree tops filters down to gently touch the ground in a mosaic of light and dark.  The smallest trees and bushes receiving only a small ray of the warmth.  It is peaceful, it is beautiful, it is in some places rough and dark.

What did you notice or feel?  I became aware of challenges.  I wondered did the slow growth and protection of the small struggling trees create a stronger taller tree in the end?  I think, they can’t uproot themselves to move into the sunlight so they must grow upward.  I see children, ours, who struggle in shadows, I see elders, bent and scarred yet still tall and strong with the experiences of growth brought about by things they could not control.  And in their lofty stance protecting the little ones.   In the sunlight I felt the Creator of it all dappling down and calling each one to grow.  It was then I thought, the Woods declare the Glory of God.

May today provide an awareness of God in nature and an insight into challenges.

 

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Monday Meditation ~ Bridges

After a busy summer of courses and camp, vacation and travel I finally returned home this weekend.  The road tugged me homeward through the changing landscape of suburbia through city to rolling hills and lakes.  To get there requires many  bridges, two very large and many smaller over various bodies of water.  I became excited when the car radio reported that the new northbound span of the Tappen Zee bridge had just opened.  I have watched it’s construction rise up from the water with each trip I took to Long Island.   I would be one of the first to drive it’s span over the wide Hudson River. It was beautiful and impressive in structure and form.  Very different from the rusty steel cantilever bridge it will replace.   This much larger steel cable bridge with shining towers supporting the road was higher and longer and much smoother.   The old bridge had served its purpose for a time but like most things created and made by man it was not safe to travel for much longer.

Bridges cross over otherwise difficult to traverse terrain to get us where we are going.  They vary in form and function but serve this similar purpose.  They are not only made of wood, steel and concrete and stone.  Sometimes they are made of flesh and bone, ideas or words.  Any time there are difficult crossings in life it is our nature to seek help, a bridge to get from one side of trouble to the safer shore of healing, love, freedom, rest.   But sometimes there just isn’t a man made crossing.    Moses faced such a time leading his people across the Red Sea.  No bridge in sight, raging waters between them and those who would enslave and kill, he trusted in God and the waters parted.  No bridge needed but the way made passable by divine intervention.

I have been blessed by many human bridges who offered help and I hope that I too may serve others in the same way.   But when there is no bridge in sight, human help fails and the way through seems too difficult  to manage I turn to the One Divine Creator who is eternally trustworthy, to lift me above the chaos and fear so that I may journey home in safety.

May your travels be lifted by bridges of hope.

Sue

Picture credit PEXELS

Monday Meditation – Eclipse

Clicking the computer on yesterday morning the artsy screen saver announced that it was yet again my birthday.  At first I thought that amusing, but as I do at times I pondered the meaning for the day.  My attempt to change it to the correct date failed as I am not the administrator and don’t have the password.  And so the day began.  One small thing after another reminded me … I am not in charge, not even today when the computer still says it’s my birthday.

The day’s events can at times throw us out of synch.  As I am a person of routine it is a challenge for me to be off schedule, and as the day went on the feeling became more and more uncomfortable.  And I remembered my birthday.  A new day, a new person?  When Jesus talks about becoming born again he is talking about our ability to change course and turn to the life God had planned for us all along.  Not that each day’s events are organized in God’s humongous binder with checklists and things to do, but that our lives were created to be good, to be well (healthy in mind, body and spirit) to be love and to love.   When we surrender our own self-serving desires to the Divine Creator’s  hand the sculpting that takes place is wondrous and more than our own plans had envisioned.  Patience is required as sculpting the art of life can take time.

Today, a new day, the moon will hide the sun.  We know the sun is there and that even though hidden we can’t look directly at it.  This overshadowing is temporary and causes many interesting effects of shadows on the ground and animal behavior.  I will keep my eyes on those things today.  Like the earth and it’s creatures, changes for me can create unusual events, but I know that behind the shadows the Divine Beloved Creator is shining on my day, on your day for all of us.  The Administrator of creation whose password is love.  Today indeed is a new day, I was born yesterday !

 

Peace, Wellness and Blessings,

Sue

Monday Meditation ~ Waiting in Faith

My yoga practice is much like my faith practice.  There are days that I can flow through with grace and ease.  The path seems lit with promise and I know the way.   Movement through breath and asana (poses) is a lovely dance that stirs up joy.  Then there are days that are hazy,  what seemed clear yesterday is distant across the far horizon of a day.  I stand at the edge and choose to wait and see.

I step to my mat, thankful to God for the day and my breath.  Practice becomes waiting.  No flowing here with ease but holding on to each movement as the breath moves me deeper.  As each movement of body, stretch with breath, release begins.  The haze begins to clear and as muscle and bone remember how far they can stretch so too my heart and mind recall that the promise of yesterday is still the promise of today and tomorrow.  Looking at the horizon while grounded on this far shore becomes an act of faith.  What will happen there is unknown to me but known by the One who is my guide, who goes behind and before me.

Here I wait, not frozen but flowing I dip my toes into the day and wade into the promises of Love.  May your day be blessed as you wait.

Monday Meditation – Tell Your Story

What are your stories?  During our recent trip to Oklahoma my husband and I were driving on our wedding anniversary.  We were determined to make it home to New York on that day, not because of our special day but because the check engine light was on in the truck.  We had some great advice from a mechanic and the prayers of many friends that we would not get stuck somewhere along the way.

We chatted a bit, turned on the radio and saw a sign.  A literal sign “Rough Road Ahead, Slow Down”   So the road was rough but the travel was a blessing.  And that’s how our lives have been at times, so far.  As we got bored of the same news story for three days and repetitive music stations we began to tell our stories to each other. It was amazing that after 38 years we still had some things to tell.   It began with a simple question and ended with a wonderful truth.

As each of us spoke taking turns in remembering childhood and adolescent experiences, God’s presence at the time and in the telling became obvious.  Though joy and trial of growing up those times seemingly most difficult held the image of God’s Grace.  And we know that does not end, it’s a lifelong journey that we still travel toward maturity in love. WE began to remember our life together, family, work and children. Such a full and wonderful life.   Mistakes are made, wrong turns confuse and engine lights warn us of impending trouble but God is here, now, loving us.  Loving all of us.

There is an old children’s hymn “Tell me the stories of Jesus, I love to hear.  Things I would ask him to tell me if he were here”. written by William H. Parker,  specifically for Sunday School.  Jesus loved to tell stories.  Parables that weave simple and complicated truths about God, ourselves and relationships with both.  I believe he still does.  Because I believe that word ‘IF’ is a mistake.  He is still here, loving us, and if we take the time to tell them, living in our stories.  If you are uncertain about God’s love, tell your story, write it down, tell someone else.  I pray you see God’s love in your life through the joy and the sorrow.  Because He loves all of us.  And that is the truth.

Blessings,

Sue

Monday Meditation- Signs and Signals

Living in the present moment with awareness of others, surroundings and self creates direction for this journey of life.  Not always with certainty but there are practices that provide help to be present and centered.  Prayer, meditation, Gestalt work and Yoga have been guides to quiet my mind and heart to focus on the here and now and decide which steps to take on the path.  But sometimes I need more.  I need a physical symbol,  a wake up call to know I have wandered off the path.

The most obvious are signals of neglect.  When life becomes too busy and I stray off my course my plants begin to wither.  I have a schedule of watering my houseplants, they are important to me and the health and aesthetics  of my home but it seems they are the first to suffer from my negligence.

Others are less obvious and only creep into my awareness when missing.  When I am attuned to my spiritual life with God, when I am focused on prayer and meditation, attending worship and studying scripture I generally wake up with a song of praise in my mind and on my tongue.  On these days other signs and signals are glaringly obvious.  Awakening to God’s presence of love opens my heart, mind and eyes to so much more of life.

Years ago I came to the conclusion that if I believe in a creator God who made the heavens and the earth, and if I believe that God is a love so great that my guilt and shame were erased through that love in Jesus, then I needed to spend more time getting to know Him.  On a Monday, because that is when you start new things, I read from the Bible and meditated on the reading.  I thanked God for this leading and guiding and then went for a walk.  I discovered that my conversation with God, listening to the creation sounds of birds and leaves applauding in the wind, continued with the taking in of so much beauty. Love seemed to wrap around me, joy filled my heart and peace settled into my whole being.  It had not rained in several days,  there was not a cloud in the sky and a soft breeze blew.  I turned the corner and right above me was the largest rainbow I had ever seen, it seemed I could touch it if I wanted to. I felt light and I heard a whisper “thank you” .  It wasn’t my word, the Divine Love touched me in that moment as I decided to love back.  To love the creator is to love the creation, the earth, all people, myself.

Much has happened since that time and I continue to learn and grow, I forget and stumble, my plants can suffer and I can wake up without that song in my heart, but I know God loves, not only me but all of creation.  God speaks to us, in dreams, in nature, in music, and all we need do is open our hearts, our eyes and our ears.

I wish you awareness to see signs of love.

 

 

Monday Meditation – Friday

I saw a bumper sticker years ago that said, “I do yoga for savasana”   It struck me as funny because it is mostly true, for me anyway.  I step onto my mat for my body and about halfway through practice I am ready to lay down and meditate. It seems that Friday, for most is that savasana we can’t wait to get to.  It is the end of a workweek and a the beginning of a weekend filled with promise.  By Wednesday, now termed “hump day” those of us starting work on Monday are already rushing to Friday.  During the weekend there is time to rest and relax, spend time with family, go to parties or have one for friends.  Time to sleep in or time to catch up on the chores we let slip during our busy week.  So we begin many Monday’s just looking forward to Friday.  Sometimes when there are longer term goals in mind even the weekend is difficult to rest in.  My savasana is sometimes restless with anticipation of what is to come.

My work week is no longer Monday through Friday but I still hold some of the old habits of rushing through anything to get to my purposed goal.  I love that God reminds me (knowing I need constant reminding) that life’s journey is not about the middle or the end, it’s about the beginning.  When we set an intention or goal for our work, when it has purpose above collecting a paycheck, the week is full of growth and grace.  This week I am working at camp.  It’s an easy place to discover God’s work.  The beauty of the place aside, it is Holy Ground to me.  Stepping on my mat this morning I enjoyed each movement and what it could teach me.  My tightness about work that needs to be done today settles in my shoulders and jaw, I breathe and let it go.  A wonderful Gestalt phrase is “What is happening now”.   I set a new intention of momentous awareness.

In this week filled with promise I promise to look beyond each whole day to see the present.  I seek to find rest in each day even for a short time so that I need not glare into the future.  To look in instead of looking out or past.  I intend on loving and living in each moment and rely on God’s grace of reminders to live fully and appreciate instead of anticipate.

Thank you to Meg who is teaching at the Library and the studio this week.  Enjoy her practice and teaching.

May you be blessed this Monday and each day of this week.

Sue