Daily reflections in week one, Take, explore the core essentials of our spiritual practice when we choose to seek God wholeheartedly.
The human longing for God arises within us, and may be unnamable at times. When we seek healing, wholeness, and acceptance in our soul, we often encounter God. We give ourselves away, daily—in details, commitments, at home, in our workplaces, and with people who need our care. Our ability to connect with God and our deepest identity in God comes from holding onto ourselves first, as we would a small child. Within each of us is a young girl or boy, man or woman, and wise elder. Surrendering to a loving God who greets us, receives, and takes us with compassion can be the most affirming, life-giving relationship of our life. God will always be with us, no matter what, and wants to shower us with abundant life in every age and stage of living. We are never far from our God—we must open our eyes to see, and our hearts to hear. Lent is a time to delve deeply into our humanness, stir possibility, and savor what we confront and discover.
Undoubtedly you’ve heard the phrase, “if it was easy, everyone would do it.” Perhaps you know the experience of beginning something—only to discover unexpected challenge and a new way of thinking becomes necessary. The spiritual life, and ongoing commitment to contemplative practice and prayer is similar. There are times when the flow is so sweet and savory that it seems we could never abandon our prayer or community worship time. And then we bump up against resistance, fatigue, personalities, disillusionment, and natural stages of spiritual growth. In the end, what matters is our ongoing yes, our willingness to keep beginning again, again, and again. We must become tender and gentle with ourselves.
Our primary relationship with God teaches us trust, courage, sacrifice, juicy vitality, and the immense dignity and value of our personhood. A commitment and fidelity to God never diminishes us. Christ lifts us up, stands within us, and cherishes us. Our Lenten journey is constructed of savoring ourselves and each other as Christ does—in ordinary, everyday life. We do not need to seek this primary relationship beyond the confines of our own body, our own skin. God reaches into time and space to be present with us in the desert, on the mountain top, in the kitchen, hospital bed, and while texting, perusing a Facebook wall feed, showering, folding laundry, practicing yoga, walking the dog, receiving devastating news, and in solitude. Time and details of living provide the context. We only need to show up!
When we show up in life wearing our own skin, as our amazing selves, we have something to offer to the Sacred, to one another, to the work that calls us, the service and people who need us, and the activities that bring us alive. I promise you—you are amazing. Do not believe anyone who tells you otherwise. No one shows up perfectly, all the time, every day. I don’t, and you don’t. We can each strive to be the best we can at every given moment. Then we can claim, with authority, “here I am.”
This week you will gather the ingredients—substance—for a juicy life of prayer, wholeness, holiness. Daily mediations explore desire for God; cultivating stillness; listening; being present; free will; compulsion and temptation; and mutuality.
“At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.” – Mark 1:12-13 (Cycle B)
I am here, God,
Come, take me
Bless me with your majestic grace
Break me of my ego and deadly capacity to sin
Give me as a gift to your broken and brilliant world
Show me how to willingly receive
Accompany me when I respond
And guide me to savor life.
Tip: Each daily reflection for this every day life retreat is a new post in the “Home” tab. If you want to see all posts, please select the category, “Savor Lent, Savor Life 2013″ from the list to your right. If you would like to receive the daily posts in your email inbox, you can subscribe to this blog by clicking “Follow New Fields” blog, also to the right. Thanks, and do let me know what would be meaningful and helpful to you! Cheers!