If someone told me several years ago that I could be content with how little I have today I’m not sure what my response would have been…
On this cloudy, grey, windy, Friday, however, I know now that many things I used to value seem to be worth much less than what I once believed.
To live simply, to not seek to acquire worldly goods, to be free from attachments, anxieties, assumptions is a journey, the only journey?, worth investing a life in.
“O LORD, I am so fortunate that you do not hold my mistakes, my bad choices, my rotten attitude, my poor judgements, against me. You take these and in exchange give me your love, peace and guidance.
When I am neck deep in my own mess nothing feels right. I long for your presence and feel the weight of my sin crushing me day and night.
In my misery I tell you how sorry I am for wandering away, I beg you to forgive me, and you always do. You give me exactly what I need; joy, mercy, life.
O LORD, help me stay close to you, show me the way of light. Help me fix my eyes on you and not look away. I know I can be so stubborn, thickheaded, but your love is even more insistent!
O LORD, you are my only hope.
a reflection based on Psalm 32
Let man’s soul be a sphere, and then, in this,
Th’ intelligence that moves, devotion is;
And as the other spheres, by being grown
Subject to foreign motion, lose their own,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a year their natural form obey;
Pleasure or business, so, our souls admit
For their first mover, and are whirl’d by it.
Hence is’t, that I am carried towards the west,
This day, when my soul’s form bends to the East.
There I should see a Sun by rising set,
And by that setting endless day beget.
But that Christ on His cross did rise and fall,
Sin had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for me.
Who sees God’s face, that is self-life, must die;
What a death were it then to see God die?
It made His own lieutenant, Nature, shrink,
It made His footstool crack, and the sun wink.
Could I behold those hands, which span the poles
And tune all spheres at once, pierced with those holes?
Could I behold that endless height, which is
Zenith to us and our antipodes,
Humbled below us? or that blood, which is
The seat of all our soul’s, if not of His,
Made dirt of dust, or that flesh which was worn
By God for His apparel, ragg’d and torn?
If on these things I durst not look, durst I
On His distressed Mother cast mine eye,
Who was God’s partner here, and furnish’d thus
Half of that sacrifice which ransom’d us?
Though these things as I ride be from mine eye,
They’re present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them; and Thou look’st towards me,
O Saviour, as Thou hang’st upon the tree.
I turn my back to thee but to receive
Corrections till Thy mercies bid Thee leave.
O think me worth Thine anger, punish me,
Burn off my rust, and my deformity;
Restore Thine image, so much, by Thy grace,
That Thou mayst know me, and I’ll turn my face.
John Donne (1613)
This morning, after getting myself mostly ready for the day, I took the dogs outside for some fresh air and other unmentionables…
The Husky went one way, the Golden another, and I watched as they stretched, sniffed, and…
This week we are house sitting for a friend and the next door neighbor owns a couple of horses. I’ve written before about the Golden’s failing eyesight and hearing and the challenge to make sure she doesn’t wander too far or get into trouble.
This morning I didn’t rise to the challenge. For some reason the horses were out and Belle’s eyes worked well enough to see. In a bit of youthful exuberance she ran after them. I ran after her while yelling at the top of my lungs; “No! Belle! Stop!” but to no avail. Before I could get her she had gotten under the fence and scared the horses who kicked her once in the head and once in the leg, hard.
Chasing them off I picked her up in my arms and brought her into the house. I don’t know if she’s going to make it through the next few days. Sometimes old dogs are tough, other times they don’t have the strength needed.
It happened so fast and yet it was in slow motion. I don’t know why she decided to run at them except it’s what Golden Retrievers do. I don’t know why the horses had to kick her except that’s what horses do.
I don’t know why life has so many hard times, difficult moments, and hurt, but it does. Learning to accept these is what we must do.
This week I have been helping a friend fix his cabin…
Part of the repair work consists of replacing a section of an outter wall near the roof which has been under assault by squirrels. We are using a special type of green screw to hold the new materials in place to keep the varmints at bay.
While the screws work well they are hard to spot when you drop them, which is something I seem to be fond of doing. The key to finding them is keeping your eye on the screw as it falls, stay on the ladder, and direct the other person to where it landed. Even if you know where it is, by the time you descend the ladder, it has somehow disappeared.
Though way up high you can spot the screw the other person, who didn’t watch it fall, has no idea where it is and because it is green, like the grass, it’s almost impossible to see. The question becomes; “don’t you see it? It’s right there!”
As I think about the humor and frustration of trying to point something out to someone when you see it clearly and they have no clue, I reflect on times when I’ve desperately wanted another to notice, comprehend, realize what’s right in front of their face but can’t or won’t see it.
What to do? Eventually we choose to either keep giving advice, directions, and stay up on high or climb down, get on our knees and help them find what they’re looking for.