Re-Entry and Re-Creation

Everyone seems to be talking about “re-entry” these days. Now that many of us have been vaccinated and pandemic restrictions are lifting, life is starting to return to some semblance of “normal.”

But what do we want our new “new normal” – our chosen new normal – to look like? Which activities do we want to resume, and which are we just as happy without? How safe (or not) do we feel in larger groups of unrelated people? What grief do we have yet to process? What joy do we yearn for? How do we cope with the uncertainty that now seems to be part of our lives?

For me, the answer to all of those questions comes…

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NPR Joy Generator

NPR’s Joy Generator

Feeling a little low?  Science is now showing what spiritual sages have long known:  that  “small doses of daily delight can shift our focus away from our worries and give more opportunity for joy to arise.” 

What brings you delight?  Standing barefoot in the grass on a warm summer day?  Taking a dip in a chilly lake?  Spending time with your grandchildren?  Quilting or knitting?  Playing tennis?  Having a bouquet of flowers on your desk?  Whatever it is, make a bit of time for it this week, and notice what a difference it makes.

If you need a quick boost right now, try NPR’s Joy Generator and hit the re-set button on your day.

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person looking up at cosmos

Many Ways of Praying

There may be as many ways of praying as there are people and personalities. God comes to each of us as we are in this moment.

I prepared the attached list outlining several ways to pray to share with…

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person making a plan

The Trees Don’t Plan or Worry
But I Need to Plan!

I want to be more like the trees, responding to the Force of Nature, the whispers of the Holy Spirit. I want to be flexible, available, ready to pivot and respond and care for what shows up in front of me. I want to let go of planning and control and worry.

And yet, I do need to plan.

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boy running away

Running Away/Holding On

The Psalm tells me there is nowhere I can go. If I lie down in the depths/Sheol/Hell, God is there. If I take myself far away, God is there, too. And yet there are places I do try to flee to when things get hard: to my phone, my computer, social media, books, TV. I flee to my plans, to my regrets, to my attachments. Sometimes I flee to food or drink. I flee to worry. I flee to complaining. God may in fact be in all those places, but my attention toward God has fled. I am putting my attention somewhere else, while God patiently waits for me to notice that the Presence is always with me.

Why do I flee?

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inside of spacecraft

Do We In Some Way “Make” God?

“Maybe we make God.”

“We have everything we need right here to figure this out. It’s not about faith in God.  It’s about having faith in each other.”

(from the Netflix series, Away)

To a person of faith, those are provocative statements!  But while some will bristle at this idea, I see it as resonant with the Christian tradition…. 

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listening

How Do YOU Listen for God?

It seems that almost everyone who comes to me for spiritual direction feels compelled at the start to tell me something like “I just can’t get into meditation or centering prayer.” Or “I have to admit I don’t have a consistent prayer practice.” They say it with sadness, and sometimes shame. Like they are missing out on something, something they really want.

And you know what? They are. They are missing out on something big, something they really want: a sense of connection to the Divine, to something bigger than themselves, to All-That-Is. But they are not missing out because they “can’t do” centering prayer, or don’t find the Lord’s Prayer meaningful anymore, or are finding more spiritual depth at yoga than at church.

No. They are missing out because…

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