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Posts tagged ‘Faith’

The Quiet Center

“This is another day, O Lord…
If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely.
If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly.
If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently.
And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly.”
― Kathleen Norris

“We need a deep patience because we can’t see around corners. Because life is a perpetual storm, a turbulence of light and dark that coils around each quiet center that we call a soul. We need such patience, not just to endure the turbulence, but to stay close to our full humanity, in order to access the quiet center of our soul, which is where our lasting strength resides.” – Mark Nepo, Surviving Storms: Finding the Strength to Meet Adversity

Keep me on the forefront of wonder
The edge of delight
Riding a wave of joy
Defying gravity of cynicism, certainty and control
Diving into the unknown
Buoyed in the waiting
Awakened in the mystery
Ever-present in the beauty of this day
The quiet center.

“To wait and endure.” It is from the ground of such waiting that our faith in life deepens and widens.” – Mark Nepo, Surviving Storms: Finding the Strength to Meet Adversity

Uninvited, Make Room

“This is the homely heart of Incarnation, this meeting of God in man with men and women, this simple face of divine graciousness in ordinary life rather than in the hymns of church fathers or in the dry elaborations of theologians.”― Eugene Kennedy, Joy of Being Human

“Aliveness, he will teach, is a gift available to all by God’s grace. It flows not from taking, but giving, not from fear but from faith, not from conflict but from reconciliation, not from domination but from service. It isn’t found in the upper trappings of religion -rules and rituals, controversies and scruples, temples and traditions. No, it springs up from our innermost being like a fountain of living water. It intoxicates us lie the best wine ever and so turns life from disappointment into a banquet.”― Brian D. McLaren

No lectures.
No rules and regulations.
No judgment.
An invitation into the waiting, wandering and grace.
Open to all, owned by none.
Greater than our imagination, more substance than opinion.
May the story of Advent welcome you home to love, peace and light.
Make room.

“Into this world, this demented inn
in which there is absolutely no room for him at all,
Christ comes uninvited.”― Thomas Merton

A Broad Place

“Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.” – Psalm 118

“As I have read the Gospels over the years, the belief has grown in me that Christ did not come to found an organized religion but came instead to found an unorganized one. He seems to have come to carry religion out of the temples into the fields and sheep pastures, onto the roadsides and the banks of the rivers, into the houses of sinners and publicans, into the town and the wilderness, toward the membership of all that is here.”― Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow

May we all have the capacity and desire to change and be changed.
Becoming new again and again.
To see the same from other sides, new angles.
To understand more than be understood.
To stand in the complexities, the yes and no, knowing and unknowing, belief and doubt, organized and unorganized, reason and wonder.
Allowing it all and opening up.
In broad places and thin spaces.

“Standing eye to eye with being as being, we realize that we are able to look at the world with two faculties—with reason and with wonder. Through the first we try to explain or to adapt the world to our concepts, through the second we seek to adapt our minds to the world.”— Mark Nepo, Surviving Storms: Finding the Strength to Meet Adversity

Already Here

“…And we pray, not for new
earth or heaven, but to be quiet
in heart, and in eye clear.
What we need is here.”― Wendell Berry

“You mustn’t wish for another life. You mustn’t want to be somebody else. What you must do is this:
“Rejoice evermore.
Pray without ceasing.
In everything give thanks.”
I am not all the way capable of so much, but those are the right instructions.”― Wendell Berry, Hannah Coulter

We get and give advice.
We read the books.
We conjure up the formula, the secret recipe.
We search for the shortcut.
We have the instructions.

And yet, and yet, still.

Amid the schemes, the prescriptions, life continues in the unknowing, uncertainty and mystery.
Changing.
Twisting, turning, flipping, flopping.
From boredom to busy.
We don’t need all the answers.
We need to live well with the questions.
Moving through with a sense of wonder and delight, gratitude and optimism for no good reasons at all.
Merely because we can, especially when it makes no sense at all.
Be present in today.
Be kind, generous, light, laughter, grateful, playful, at ease.
What we need is already here.

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work
and when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.”― Wendell Berry

Most Precious Today

“In being with dying, we arrive at a natural crucible of what it means to love and be loved. And we can ask ourselves this: Knowing that death is inevitable, what is most precious today?”― Joan Halifax

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”― Lewis Carroll

Leave yesterday at the door and cross the threshold into now and the possibility of unfolding.
Letting go, forgiveness, gratitude, kindness unbind, free, loosen and release.
Lighten the load, only carry what is necessary, what serves you well.
New day, new person.
What is most precious today?

“Resolving grief means both to release ourselves from responsibility for all the things that weren’t up to us, and to come to terms with the choices we’ve made that can’t be undone.”― Edith Eger, The Gift: 12 Lessons to Save Your Life

Starts, Middles, Finishes

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

This weekend, I finished what I started two years ago.
I signed up for the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington DC in 2020.
COVID – canceled like most things in life in 2020 and 2021, still lingering today.
Ran it virtually in 2020.
2021 – marathon canceled due to security concerns.
Yesterday, I ran the 47th Annual Marine Corp Marathon live and in person.
Fifth and final marathon.

“Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them.” – Joseph Joubert

A beautiful day and awesome course through our history.
Watching others who were running in memory of others.
Wheelchair racers struggling to get up hills.
Runners pushing others in wheelchairs.
The Marines either running it or working the water stations.
I sighed at mile 18 with a deep breath and a woman offered me her energy gels.
At mile 23, a man running with one leg and a blade prosthetic.

“Indeed, this life is a test. It is a test of many things – of our convictions and priorities, our faith and our faithfulness, our patience and our resilience, and in the end, our ultimate desires.” Sheri L. Dew

So many lessons woven through one day and two years.
I started the race and just kept reminding myself, one mile at a time.
Not too far out ahead, remain present and aware of the place and space to take it all in.
Each mile mattered, nothing wasted as in life itself.
Sometimes we finish in a few steps and moments, sometimes it takes years.
Struggle. Fall. Get back up. Fall. Get back up. Succeed.
Dream and do the work.
Keep going, striving, looking ahead to the finish lines, ready to start again and again.

“When we tackle obstacles, we find hidden reserves of courage and resilience we did not know we had. And it is only when we are faced with failure do we realise that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

“Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.” – Jamais Cascio

The Life of Leaves

“In every change, in every falling leaf there is some pain, some beauty. And that’s the way new leaves grow.”― Amit Ray

“Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind.”― Amit Ray, Meditation: Insights and Inspirations

Some pain, some beauty.
More beauty really.
Leave the nest.
Wings to flight.
Cycles, circles, seasons, new leaves ahead.

“A bird is safe in its nest – but that is not what its wings are made for.”― Amit Ray, World Peace: The Voice of a Mountain Bird

Encounter

“Patience. Kindness. Generosity. Humility. Courtesy. Unselfishness. Good temper. Guilelessness. Sincerity. All these things make up the Supreme Gift, and are there in the soul of whoever wishes to be in the world and close to God.”― Henry Drummond, The Supreme Gift

In nature
In others
In your own heart
May you encounter God in ordinary moments, where God resides, waits and moves
Patient, kind, generous, the Supreme Gift to be opened again and again
A whisper, a smile from a stranger, a sleepless night
Conduits, bridges, connections, patterns, unknowing, mystery, beauty.

“God is never a set of concepts to be understood but a relationship to encounter.”― Christine Valters Paintner, The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within

A Soft Spot

“God loves people because of who God is, not because of who we are.”― Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace?

“I have come to know a God who has a soft spot for rebels, who recruits people like the adulterer David, the whiner Jeremiah, the traitor Peter, and the human-rights abuser Saul of Tarsus. I have come to know a God whose Son made prodigals the heroes of his stories and the trophies of his ministry.”― Philip Yancey

Let God out of the limits of your narrow thoughts, the bonds of rules, the definitions and division of religion.
Beyond imagination, undefinable, radical, abundance overflowing, a nudge, dark, light, a soft whisper, a breeze, mountains, valleys, oceans, all and more.
Deeper than deep can go.
Bigger than what we can fathom.
In other, self, place, in the petal of a flower.
Author, artist, creator, finisher.
The very definition of love, never counting, always generous.
Listen, trust, watch, in amazement and awe.
Grace, peace, joy be yours each and every single day.

“In a nutshell, the Bible from Genesis 3 to Revelation 22 tells the story of a God reckless with desire to get his family back.”― Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew

Luminescence of Joy

“Grace, like water, flows to the lowest part.”― Philip Yancey

“Sometimes we are joyful because we have known grief. Sometimes we know grief because we have dwelled— for full long days or microcosmic minutes—in the sun-soaked luminescence of joy.”― Heather Lanier, Raising a Rare Girl: A Memoir

A mixed bag.
Struggle and ease.
Sorrow and joy.
Fear and courage.
Surface and deep.
Weeds and flowers.
Fast and slow.
Waiting and arrival.
Yesterday and tomorrow.
All together in our days.
More unknowing than knowing.
Love, beauty, awe, wonder, hope, inquiry, reflection, peace, grace.
Dwell here in the unraveling and revealing.

“Sorrow eats time. Be patient. Time eats sorrow.”― Louise Erdrich, LaRose

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