Posts Tagged ‘present moment’

Being Prayer

November 2, 2010

   I confess some days it just flows better than others. There are times when I yearn to be connected to, to be immersed in, acutely aware of the Presence of the Spirit when I pray, and sometimes it just seems that no matter how hard I try it just does not happen.
   I have often appreciated Tex Sample, one of my favorite seminary professors, and his words in regards to the subject and practice in his book, “Earthy Mysticism.” He speaks of his own struggles with the practice and not unlike him I have knelt, sat, lay down, with eyes raised, and eyes closed. I have focused on imagery, icons, and burning candles. I have used prayer beads and mantras.
   There have been times, and I still practice these from time to time, that one of these practices and methods have just clicked, so to speak. There have been times and still are in the right moment, frame of mind, spiritual presence, one of these have taken me to a place, into a Presence that has filled my heart and soul. And there have been times when all I get done is burn candle wax.
   I have been revisiting Thich Nhat Hanh of late in his book “Happiness,” as well as revisiting Andrew Harvey and his book, “The Direct Path.” I am reminded of the mindfulness and present moment in these writings from these wise directors and pointers of the way. I am reminded of the first time I heard the words from a dear friend, “A hug is a prayer.” It brings me back to words in our own sacred texts, “Pray without ceasing.”
   It is in these words I remember God who loves us, whom we love, and is as close as our very heartbeat, “in whom we live and move and have our being.” This being the case, if the Divine Spirit is as close as, is within the very breath we breathe then all of life would be, should be, and is prayer. There is a Word of grace in every breeze, in every blade of grass, in every pebble, in the color of every fall leaf. There is a word of gratitude, a gesture of thanks, and a connection to and with all in every spoken word, every step, every touch, every glance, every sound, and every moment.
   Being immersed in such a Spirit of grace and love is a constant reminder I am not alone and for such Presence I am thankful. I pray this week that you might be mindful of the Spirit in your life, that you might be mindful of the Spirit in the lives of those you encounter along the Way, and give thanks.


The Plate

March 18, 2009

We were eating in a “salad” restaurant in the city the other day. It is a place on the East side that serves primarily, well, salads, they are healthy, though I suspect depending on what you have on your salad they could be just as bad for you as a double bacon cheeseburger. We ate pretty healthy though and even ignored the carrot cake and other desserts available at the cash register when we paid.
We were visiting and eating our salad when I noticed a curious thing, well, a funny thing actually. There was a young mother with two little girls coming around the partial wall to sit at a table across the aisle from us. The youngest of the girls was perhaps two or three and mom was corralling her into the chair behind the table. Her oldest girl, who was perhaps four maybe five, was dutifully, although not attentively, following her mom to the table.
As she walked she had a small plate, the size of a salad plate one would use at home, in her hands and she was rubbing it up and down on her face. A comical sight, one that brought a smile to my face and an under the breath chuckle, silly kids, gotta love ‘em! It was only when she crawled into her chair, all the while rubbing the plate up and down on her face, and then setting it carefully on the table that brought sheer joy to the situation. There on the plate, by all appearances intact, was a big chocolate brownie! “This girl LOVES her chocolate!” I thought to myself and laughed and told my wife the whole story that had transpired behind her.
“I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly and I have come that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete,” Jesus had said. It is the joy of life, the joy of the present moment, the joy of grace and peace, of love and compassion that should fill our lives on a daily, moment by moment basis! This is a joy that sustains us and drives us to share it with all whom we meet.
That little girl was simply immersed in the joy of the moment, may you find such simplicity and unbridled joy somewhere, someplace, sometime this week.