This reflection was written after pondering the lyrics of some hymns which capture an immediate, almost mystical sense of God’s presence--despite our failings. A longer version was spoken aloud on a Final Sunday (July 29, 2012, later service).
Today we look at one of the paradoxes of life:
Among our daily feelings are the darker ones:
But that very human frailty is perhaps God’s greatest gift to us.
How can that be?
the gift is that
our weakness reminds us
of our need for God.
When we feel fine, when we feel strong,
we cruise along on our merely human strength.
We Get Things Done.
We are busy.
We do fine.
And we forget that our fine, human strength
compared with the inexpressible depth
of the love of God.
But our weakness... ah!
Our weakness calls us back to God
for whom, as the writer says,
Words, Bread, and a “dwindling Light”
are enough to change the world.
We live in the paradox of this constant mix:
our weakness ever-present, God’s strength ever-present.
But when we are out of sorts, sometimes the awareness of God’s presence
seems as far as the moon.
Or, we just get busy
Many traditions have practices to help people return to awareness.
In Buddhism, when you hear a bell, it’s a time to stop,
be aware of here and now,
and send compassion to the world.
In Islam, the call to prayer rings out in music
five times a day, reminding the faithful
to let busyness go, and turn to God.
Our Lenten fasting is a call to prayer,
each hunger pang like a little bell
to remind us to turn back to the amazing presence of God.
be such a bell, such a wake-up call?
What if each time we notice we are feeling
busy-busy-busy, worried, scared, irritable, down,
we simply stop,
and turn to God?
Our failings, a sacred door.
Here’s a little practice you might try this week:
When Moses asked God
to say who God was, God replied,
And that’s vast.
So when you realize you’re in a negative space,
On the inbreath, think of that vast “I AM” of God.
On the out breath, just breathe out, in reverent silence.
Inbreath, ... “I AM.”
On the outbreath, silence, gratitude.
Inbreath... “I AM,”