Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Slow, savory pace

There are countless cliches that we throw and toss around our causal conversations, but if you stopped and put them side-by-side you might see our conventional wisdom often contradicts itself.

For example, we say, "Many hands make light the work but we also say "Too many cooks spoiled the soup."

When do we ask for help and when do we make do?

At other times we throw out there, "Two is company and three is a crowd only at another moment to say "Hey the more the merrier!"

Which if we are talking about mimes, I am prone to think the first one.

Or perhaps it is that great adage, "Seek and ye shall find" but we also counter, "Be careful because curiosity killed the cat."

Perhaps as humans we are not as wise as we think we are sometimes.  Trying to sort out the next right step amid all the advice swirling and stirring around out in the world, especially today, is a task that will require more than a keen intellect.  We cannot think our way out of everything, we sometimes need to live our way out and into a new way of being.  Looking around the world can leave us  guessing, gawking and gazing just trying to make sense of it all.

In the opening pages of Acts, Jesus says to the disciples (which means, "students") before they can become Apostles (which means, "sent out"), they need to wait.  Wait?  Really?  How can they wait?  They have encountered the renewing and resurrecting life of Jesus!  Wait to share the good news that God is up to something amazing?  Wait to tell others that death is not the last word?  Waiting wasn't just difficult here and now, but it was hard too then and there for the disciples.

Perhaps some waiting...or at least slowing down...would be a good spiritual practice for us today.  When we are surrounded by blaring, blasting "Alerts!" on 24-Hour News Cycles that take small bits of information and spend hours dissecting.  Slowing down, stepping off the roller coaster.  By no means am I suggesting that we disengage with the world or stick our heads in the sand.  But perhaps paying attention to something other than twitter feeds and news that pops up, but be a balm for our souls.  To listen for the Spirit that is still infused in all creation and within our very selves rather than the talking heads pontificating.  To listen for the Spirit that can cause wonder even here and now.  That will take a different kind of pace.

This summer at the church I serve we are going to actively, attentively engage wonder...and you can too.  Walking in creation is a GREAT way to experience wonder; looking at twinkling stars or clouds in the shape of a ship sailing across the blue-almost-ocean-like sky can help us explore wonder.  Specifically, we are going to sing; write/reflect on our experiences; read poems; laugh; and paint.  I invite you to attend to the wonder inside you.  The book of Acts is clear that the fuel of the faith for the early church wasn't based on attendance or financial gifts...the fuel of faith was being open to God.  To the world to wait wrapped in wonder does seem like a contradiction...but to us...it is a way to sense more than a trace of God's grace.

Blessings...peace...and wonder!

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