Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Progress Report: Days 6 & 7 of Lent - God Acts (and Speaks Again)

Day 6:  God Acts

"No kidding, God was there!"  Over the weekend, as I ranted about my life, one of the topics that came up was the former horse corral.  We had about five years' worth of cut, split and stacked wood under the oaks there. During the Monument Fire, all of that firewood burned, killing the oak trees and leaving a charred, ugly mess.

I wanted to expand my compost bins there, but didn't want to build nice bins that would later be crushed by falling trees blown down by wind or cut down with a chain saw.  Big obstacle:  hubby can no longer use the chain saw and I am not skilled or strong enough to tackle that job myself.  How, I asked my husband, could we possibly cut and haul off all that wood so that I could finish my compost project?

The next day, my father-in-law phoned.  He had a new chain saw and needed firewood.  Could he please come and cut some from our land?

Heck, yeah!  God IS with us, and He LISTENS!

Day 7:  God Speaks Again

My current spiritual discipline from The Spiritual Formation Workbook is to read "a book on the spiritual life that interests you" (Smith and Graybeal 35).  I try to spend 15 minutes after I study the Word and pray, practicing Lectio Divina - which is basically to read, reflect, respond (by praying to God about what you've just read), and rest (in God's presence, listening for what He has to say or simply enjoying Him).  You could practice Lectio Divina with almost any text, from the newspaper to scripture, from history to a poem by Robert Frost.

This morning, I opened Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, and began reading at this passage:

The insight of one fourth-century monk, Evagrius, that in the desert, most of one's troubles come from distracting "thoughts of one's former life" that don't allow us to live in the present, reflects what I regard as the basic principle of desert survival:  not only to know where you are but to learn to love what you find there" (Kathleen Norris 23).

Whoa!  That's been my problem during this season of Lent: distracting thoughts of my former life!  Or, rather, distracting thoughts about what I had hoped my life would become.

In many ways, my life is like the Coronado National Forest which surrounds me:  scrub oak ravaged by fire; dark, skeletal remains of century-old trees looming bleakly above dead annual grasses; and, in the midst of this barren landscape, occasional live trees and shrubby, optimistic young trees springing up from the roots.  I can look at what might have been - the dead trees - and mourn, or I can look at the new growth and hope.  It's my decision, really.

My task, like Kathleen Norris's, is "not only to know where [I am] but also to learn to love what [I] find there."

Before Enlightenment: chop wood, carry water, after Enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.
Zen Proverb

Sit, walk, or run, but don't wobble.
Zen Proverb

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