Thursday, November 01, 2012

A Sacred Pause



I remember now the feeling of awe which came over me. I felt inclined to kneel on the ground, as though I had been standing in the presence of an angel; and I had hardly dared to look on the face of the sky, because it seemed as though it was but a veil before the face of God.    -Bede Griffiths, The Golden Spring
A chilly, blustery day here, as the remnants of hurricane Sandy move on. I am awe struck by the intensity of the remnants that blew our way, hardly a fraction of what hit New Jersey. The winds were vicious, licking up everything in their path, downing trees and power lines. Now, just lingering grey skies and dreary rain, an almost typical fall day.

And yet in the midst of the intense hurricane and also this very typical day, God is present. There exists in every moment a mystical possibility. Sometimes we are aware of the presence of God, startling us out of the drama or the mundane. Like Bede, we are compelled to stop and take notice.

More often, though, we need to practice slowing down and taking notice. We need to learn how to be intentional, mindful, or as Macrina Wiederkehr suggests in her book, "Seven Sacred Pauses, Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day," we need to remember to pause. 

"The pause can be as simple as standing attentively before a flowering pant or listening to the frogs in the pond. Perhaps we stop for a cleansing breath: Breathe in the spirit of the hour; Breathe in gratitude and compassion for yourself; breathe out love and encouragement for your coworker, friends, and family members. Your pause may be an awakening stretch, or sitting quietly and remembering your name." (page 20-21)
Before I begin this busy day I am pausing. I exercised and did yoga and I read for a few minutes from this book. I took a moment to pause and write. To be present to possibility of God even in these anxious times of waiting for the clean up and recovery, for a new normal to set in, for the election to be over, and for whatever comes next. I'm taking a moment to reflect, to slip into my mind (as I wrote yesterday), and pause.

May you take the time to pause as well, breathe, be present to possibility.

3 comments:

Mary Beth said...

Lovely. Thank you! I too am grateful for the peace and beauty of this fall day. It feels guilty to have gorgeous weather when others are so devastated; but we have to appreciate it when we can I suppose.

Blessings on your day!

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

my mornings are a long pause lately... coffee. news. devotions. more coffee. sitting. thinking. coffee. food. walk bailey. and then noon comes... and off we go!

Lisa :-] said...

I was going to say this is a practice in which I already indugle, which is true to an extent. But I seem to forget about it when I most need it...

The Aim of Life

Like most people, when I was in my twenties,  I was focused on trying to figure out my life. I struggled to figure out what I was going to...