I was joking with a friend this morning about getting combobulated. I really didn’t think it was a “word” but here is the definition:To put together in a somewhat mysterious manner. To bring something out of a state of confusion or disarray.
Perfect! That is what I’m trying to do . . . to bring myself “out of a state of confusion and disarray.
How? Well, for sure Centering Prayer twice a day helps me focus on You — on What is Eternal and GOOD! And I’ve started beginning my day by lighting a candle and just sitting in front of the Light. Before screen time. Before connecting with others. I’m beginning my day by connecting with me.
What else am I doing? Rebuilding various states of DEPLETION!!! Sleep depletion is one. I bought black out curtains. And I do what I have to do to get to bed BEFORE my Night Owl awakens. Also, I’m wearing blue light blocking glasses when I have to work at a screen after the sun sets.
Nutritional depletion is another factor. I’ve been diligent about supplements for my wonderful husband Kit. Less so for myself. Now I’m making an effort to restore my nutrients. Stress, Fear, and Uncertainty rapidly deplete most water soluble vitamins.
And then there is the depletion of “being with” times. Regular get togethers in person are missing. And as an extrovert this is a loss. FaceTiming and Zooming aren’t as satisfying. But, I make an effort to maintain and cherish those opportunities. And to embrace new opportunities like Centering Prayer groups. I also make it a point to be with nature — walking outdoors in our neighborhood.
Perhaps the most important factor in Combobulating is HOPE. Hope in You, God, Faith in You, and in Your Love. This is way beyond Reason. It is the way of the mystics. It is the “awareness” that allowed Dame Julian of Norwich to say — in the midst of the Black Death — “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”
I remember Rachel Carson as the woman who wrote Silent Spring, a book telling about the damages to the environment from DDT.
What I didn’t know until now was how overwhelming the opposition to her work was. At that time, DDT was widely promoted by the medical profession as a prophylactic against body lice and malaria. When her book came out, Monsanto, the American Medical Association, and other chemical manufacturers attacked her — disparaged her as a “hysterical woman.” Time, Life, Newsweek, and even Sports Illustrated ran vicious attacks on her book.
It wasn’t until President John F. Kennedy appointed a panel of independent scientists — who validated every assertion in her book — that the tide turned.
That was in the early 1960s. There have been may other examples of people publishing research that goes against the Party Line being fired and far worse. Things have gotten worst. Why wouldn’t they? After all, the world’s wealth is more and more concentrated. Fewer and fewer companies own more and more. Six companies own 90% of the news outlets.
Sigh. This isn’t just about science. It is about TRUST in our civilization. And it makes me want to cry just writing about. In fact, I didn’t want to write about it. This is such bad news . . . I can understand wanting to explain it away. . . to disbelieve it.
But, we can’t fix what we are not willing to acknowledge.
“It is better to light one candle than to curse the dark.” This may be an old Chinese proverb or it may be the creation of Peter Benenson when he founded Amnesty International. But I have been experiencing the wisdom of that saying for 3 whole days now.
Why? Well, seeing a live flame transforming an old cotton wick into light, seems to apply to Your relationship with us. In anycase, I am enjoying it. And, it also makes me think about stopping my “cursing of the dark”.
Sigh. It is so easy to judge. So easy to feel that I am totally Right. And from there it is a short step to feeling that those who are Wrong are somehow wicked and evil. WOW! That is really NOT loving my neighbor as I love myself. In fact, it feels as if I have been caught up in evil . . . or at least darkness.
So, tomorrow I am going to suggest to the Prayer Group that I am part of that we resist judging. Ideally, we might try stepping up a level to unconditional love and lovingkindness. As I heard in a sermon the other day, we are called to be rebuilders of the breaches in the wall.
I am hearing, God, what You said in Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.”
I’ve been STUCK because I have TOO MUCH wanting to get out and be shared. WAY too much for my little mind and heart to put into words. So, I’m going for SMALL.
WE MATTER TO YOU! That’s my “fun” thought for the day. We matter to You because You CARE for us. Your Lovingkindness has surrounded us since conception. You have been with us every part of our journey. And, in this Time of Disorientation and Depression, I feel You saying FEAR NOT! I am with you.
This photo taken some years ago at a Women’t Retreat symbolized how we may look alone . . . but we are enveloped in love. Your Love. You ARE Love. And shame on all the well-meaning folks who pictured You as the Great Rule Keeper.
Jesus was so clear . . . His story of the Prodigal Son returning broken to his father . . . who RUNS out to meet and EMBRACE him. . . captures Your kind of love.
So, this morning, I just want to affirm Your Love. I want to share HOPE in You. And remind myself and others to BLESS and not CURSE. To Overcome Evil with Good. To Pray FOR those doing harm.
May Your Spirit FLOW LIKE A MIGHTY RIVER over us all.
Sometimes I get inundated by the Larger Picture. And, yes, we do not wrestle with flesh and blood but with Principalities and Powers and darkness in high places. Sigh.
But, just this morning, I sent a friend a link to one of my old stories — While Waiting — which is about praising You, God. So, I am going to swim up to the surface and PRAISE YOU FOR ALL THAT IS!
And having done that I will rejoice in the small moments that bring us joy. Joy in remembering them. And even more joy in sharing them. This is a photo of a Roadrunner . . . a large bird . . . that just happened to perch outside our daughter’s window for five minutes. Long enough for her to take a photo.
I am learning, God, that I can stop whenever and see beauty . . . feel appreciation . . . feel joy. I just turned my head and saw the right side of my desk was mostly clear — delight!
I’m doing pretty well here. And my news — while filled with COVID 19 and politics — is still pretty upbeat. I do know I am more fortunate than most. And I have been worried about folks with no safety net. Still, hearing from a real life person who isa victim of the lockdown, was an eye opener!
Please, God! Help us all take a few minutes to listen to this video. Open not just our ears but hearts and our minds.
This little water lily lives in a small pot on the porch of my neighbor next door. She was up and smiling yesterday. And she brought me much joy. My brother lives in Grass Valley on 20 acres filled with blackberry bushes. And he has a pond with water lilies in great abundance. Well, compared to the small pot of lilies next door.
But, it only takes ONE water lily to fill me with joy. One was enough. One beautiful water lily to be gazed at and appreciated . . . just for a moment before continuing our morning walk.
Small flowers — small moments to stop and sink into — these comprise a true bounty. I am beginning to understand, God, why You told the Israelites not to take a census. Not to count. We are not to put our trust in numbers — but in You.
And so I am off to bed — putting the World and all my worries in Your Hands.
This is what I have been working on . . . creating screens is a joy . . . but not truly challenging. But, now I am trying to condense a beautiful Welcoming Prayer so that it can fit into the time allocated. And I haven’t really done that for many years. So THAT is the true joy! Difficult . . . but hopefully, not impossible.
I emphasized that it is a World Wide Invitation because I am hoping that some of our friends from Australia or UK or South Africa may attend. But, it is open to anyone interested in Centering Prayer. Indeed, the nice thing about Zoom is that you can sneak in and sneak out. Staying for a taste — or staying for the whole thing.
These are the both the best of times — and the worst of times. But, definitely a Time to Turn to You!
I am sorrowing . . . over so many things. And this photo from back in April expresses my mood. I miss life as it was back in the OLD normal. I remember the call — in mid March — from our daughters saying DO NOT GO TO CHURCH! You are in the vulnerable category. And we do not want you putting yourself at risk.
And so we joined everyone else in adapting. I’d already been co-hosting a weekly Zoom chapel so I started offering to host other groups. And I truly enjoy that “getting together” but, it isn’t the same. And, it is true, one day blends into the next without the Markers we used to have. The line that captures that is “Every day is Blursday.”
I’ve lived though a few bad spells. Not going to swimming pools during Polio season. There was the Hong Kong flu back in 1969-70. It killed 1.1 million people worldwide. And that was back when the world population was only 3.5 billion — half what is it is today. But, I don’t remember any major societal response. We all just went about our business — hoping and praying for the best.
I guess most folks are waiting for The Vaccine. I am not. I am is very cautious about its possible effects on my body. It is MY body. So it was a shock to learn that the head of the University of California campuses has decreed that no unvaccinated person can teach, work or attend any of the UC campuses. WHAT?
So, God, I guess I’m not just sad . . . I’m worried.