Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

Today, when I was out on my evening "walk around Thousand Hills Lake", I was trying to recall one of my favorite lines in Psalm 27. This is the psalm that most people know as "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?" one.

But that is not the line that sticks with me when I think of that psalm. It's a more obscure verse, verse 13 that rings true in my mind: "I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."

One of the hardest things for me is the concept of "discernment", because discernment takes three things: 1) Being receptive to the things God presses upon my heart; 2) A willingness to act upon those things; and 3) The ability to stand still long enough for God's will to completely unfold. I am fairly ok with #1, a little edgy about #2, and way too "antsy" for #3.

Without a doubt, standing still is my downfall. I can't even stand still to fish if the fish are not biting. If I don't get even a nibble in 20 minutes or so, I move to another spot.

I have had two separate experiences this year that were spiritually profound, but in both instances I felt a little like I was the "bus driver for someone else's moment of destiny." Don't get me wrong, I was okay with it both times--in fact, I have a great deal of gratitude for being allowed so intimately into "someone else's journey." But it leaves a nagging question: "Why am I in on this trip? What am I supposed to be taking home as a souvenir?"

I was thinking about that at the end of my walk, standing there cooling off. One of my favorite forms of "self-entertainment" is looking up at clouds and imagining images in them. Today, when I started to look at the few little wispy clouds that were out, my first thought was, "Oh, hell, I don't see a thing." But as I stood there, and the wind kind of shuffled them around, things took shape. I could see a horse head, an outline of Newfoundland, and a bearded man with his mouth hanging open in astonishment.

Suddenly, something clicked in my head and I realized that what first started out as "nothing" becamed shaped by the wind into things I recognize. I had to stand still long enough for that to happen, I had to be persistent that I'd eventually "see something" and be willing to keep looking, and I had to trust the wind to do the shaping. Well, gee whiz, that's discernment! It made me realize that these two experiences are not discernible yet b/c I have not allowed the wind to have its way with them.

That, I believe, is where Ruach (the "divine wind" that is reminiscent of the Holy Spirit) comes into play. It's a situation where perhaps the wind just hasn't shaped these experiences yet, and my job at this point is simply to be aware and keep looking, trusting that they will be shaped into something more easily recognizable. I need to keep reminding myself that these things appear in God's time frame, not the time frame of my preference.

I still have no clue what these experiences mean; but in the meantime I will just "keep lookin'."

4 comments:

Waiting and listening and looking, yes that's the hard part.

Good post.

Waiting and listening and looking, yes that's the hard part.

Good post.

Kirk, I think of the words in Luke's Gospel about Mary, after she heard from the shepherds the story that the angels told them about Jesus. "But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart."

I'm sure there was much that Mary did not understand about the son she bore, and she had to wait for the meaning of the words to become clear over time.

Mimi, I hear you about Mary! I am guessing she was at best, a late teenager. Hell, I couldn't hear the well meaning advice of my grandparents, let alone that of God!

I figure despite all our experience and savvy later in life, we are still not much better than teenagers when it comes to figuring out the divine.

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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