Friday, September 26, 2014

A time to hate? What time is that?

"There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for everything under the heavens...
A time to love and a time to hate..."
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8
I read this, this morning, and couldn't help but wonder...what are we supposed to "hate?" Hate is such a harsh and difficult word and Jesus tells us love even our enemies (the people we may have previously thought it was OK to "hate").  So, who or what are we supposed to hate?  What would be acceptable, even timely, for us to hate?  Well, I would say that we could hate anything that draws us away from love...such as prejudice, anger, resentment.  We surely can hate those. I hate the way I snap to harsh judgments about people and toss those judgments around in my head, long before I pray to love them.  I hate the selfishness I see in myself--guarding my time like a pot of gold and missing opportunities to share with others.  I may hate those aspects of myself, but that doesn't mean I hate myself.  I use the awareness to pray that those traits diminish in me as the "real" me emerges--I was made to love after all!.  Today, let's spend some time, on an autumn Friday, to consider what God would want us to "hate" in our lives or in ourselves.  It's is probably a short list, in truth, because even the bad things about us can teach us a good deal about love, can't they?  Love, heidi

Thursday, September 25, 2014

What profit?

"What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun?"
Ecclesiastes 1:3
It was cute, on Pray-as-you-Go this morning, they asked the question, "Does the writer sound a bit grumpy?"  I would say yes, and he probably wrote this scripture on a Monday morning!  But it does get me thinking...what am I toiling for?  I realize, first of all, that I do what I do for God.  My paycheck may come from the State of Idaho, but my real Boss goes a bit higher than that.  That is one thing I need to remember when I have days like the one the author of Ecclesiastes is having.  The other thing I need to remember is the element of service that Jesus modeled for us.  Serving each other and helping each other are definitely fruits of the labor of my job.  There are days where I can look back and see I was able to help someone and there are other days I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall...just like with all of us.  Years ago, my friend, Kathleen used to tell her very young son, who asked why she had to go to work,  "I go to work so we can buy food and toys."  Well, I work for those as well, but I hope I also work to serve the best Boss in the world and to serve the people put in my path.  Today, (OK, it's easier because tomorrow is Friday!) let's consider who we really serve as we go off to do what we do. And, since tomorrow is pay day, we can look forward to buying food and toys!   Hi Ho, Hi, heidi

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

To love better...

"What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind."
1 Corinthians 15:36-37
This was the first reading on Saturday and it fit in so beautifully with the dying foliage and underbrush around me at the Hermitage.  I pondered what it means for us little human beings.  I was learning through my reading that our purpose, as human beings, is to love God, one another and life.  I realized that, in order to do that most effectively, we learn to die to ourselves.  We learn to let go of our own agendas and compassionately love those around us.  We learn to put others first.  Jesus showed us this when he washed the feet of the apostles the night of the Last Supper and then told them to do the same.  We learn, through our lives with Jesus, to do just what he did...serve each other lovingly.  In what ways can we see ourselves dying to self and loving better?  I feel constantly called to love better; tenderly, with more compassion. How about you?  Love, heidi

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Turn, turn, turn...

"There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every affair under the heavens.
A time to give birth, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant..."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
I had a wonderful time at the Hermitage, but one thing really struck me that first afternoon as I ate my lunch on my porch.  All the foliage surrounding my little hermitage was dead!  The underbrush and shrubs were either losing or had already lost their leaves and the plants that were blooming the last time I was there are just a rustling memory now.  I knew there was a lesson in this for me, so I prayed about learning it!  What I realized is that the earth, in all its Divine wisdom, was just yielding to the circle of life.  The earth needs to rest after the busy summer of blooming and now needs to rejuvenate.  It's the same with people.  The shorter days and long nights will give us a chance to rest too.  The busy summer nights will be replaced by lazier winter evenings. Why, I already find myself going to bed earlier! From the beginning of Creation, rest was necessary, even for God!  So, now, begin your rest, Dear Earth.  Deep in the rustling dead leaves are the buds of new life that I will see next summer at the Hermitage.  I will take my cue from your wisdom and slow my life down too, a bit.  Thank you. for teaching us to rest.  Love, heidi