Thursday, February 22, 2018

A glance back...

"This is my whole life, with all its joys and sorrows. I offer to you as Jesus offered his life on the cross, trusting that in your hands, all will be well."
The Little Black Book

It was almost forty-five years ago, at a high school Search, that I first gave my life back to God. I was so overwhelmed at that retreat that I just knew I wanted my life to be doing something that was God's idea. "What do you want me to do, God?  Show me (clearly, please!)" It seems like from then on, doors opened, I would walk through, my life just unfolded. I guess, in my naive youth, I was trusting that all would be well. And it was. So, why does it seem harder now, as I get older, to just trust that all will be well? I seem to worry and fret about the silliest things! I need a bit more of my naivite of the mid-seventies, but where to find that now? Remembering back helps a bit, but I don't want to dwell in the past, I just want to learn from it. I want to remember how confident I felt in acting on the deep desires of my heart, for that is where God's ideas are written for my journey. Today, with one full week of Lent in our rear-view mirror, what lessons can we learn from briefly looking over our shoulder? Not setting up camp in the past, but just a wee glance back. Then, we can sit in this present moment with joy, knowing that all will be well.  Love, heidi

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I trust in You...

"While seeking God with all your heart and possessing a calm assurance provides a compass for those on life's labyrinthian road, being relaxed and confident isn't easy. You and I know from experience that fear and doubt are companion pilgrims on such a pathway."
Fr. Ed Hays, "The Lenten Labyrinth"

Ah, Fear and Doubt, my most annoying and troubling companions, for sure! I wish I could ditch them both in a dark alley, but seems like they accompany me wherever I go.  How to shake them off and continue my journey with the "calm assurance" Fr. Ed talks about? The key is, just like it says on our money, In God We Trust. God gives us common sense (though it doesn't always seem "common") and God gives us wisdom, in bulk, if we just ask. God steadies our feet on the path in the labyrinth and gives us guidance all along the way. And, as Fr. Ed points out in today's offering, all along the way, we are already "there." As the labyrinth is a rose with the center of the rose being our destination, we are still in the rose, being in the petal portion, on our journey. Fr. Ed also quotes one of my favorite sayings, "All the way to heaven is heaven!" (Catherine of Sienna).  I cannot seem to ditch my companions, Fear and Doubt. They walk with me and taunt me as I go, the rascals! What I may need to do is accept them and see them for what they are--mere distractions on the journey, but they are not able to steer me off course. You see, that is the beauty of the labyrinth, the next step is really quite clear. It is right there, the logically apparent next step. Today, if we feel taunted and teased by fear and doubt, let's pull out a dollar bill and read the sentence, In God We Trust printed on it. Take a deep breath, and pray, "Yep, God. I trust in you!"  Love, heidi

Monday, February 19, 2018

You welcomed me...

..."I was a stranger and you welcomed me."
Matthew 25:35

Even though today is a holiday I cannot let Matthew 25 go by without reflecting on it. Pray-As-You-Go invited us to ponder how we feel when Jesus tells the people they will be separated as the sheep and goats. Those who feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked will be welcomed into the kingdom with the Father's blessing. I always fear I come up short when it comes right down to it. It's hard to put ourselves on the "right" side of this reading when we are so rich as a country and live so well compared to most of the world. How are we, as a country, doing welcoming the stranger? I'm afraid we are fearing them, turning them into enemies, vilifying them, and giving them the boot.  Jesus never said "Protect yourselves!" We say we are a Christian nation but we don't live that way, I'm sorry to say. We live in fear and stockpile weapons to make ourselves feel safer. But that will never make us truly free, will it? How can we think we are free at all when we fear the stranger instead of welcoming any one of God's children who comes to our shores? If we truly believe "In God We Trust," like it says on our money, we should really trust God and live like Jesus told us to live. We either love everyone or we love no one. And which did Jesus tell us to do? Love, heidi