Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Five; What sustains you?

Over the last year I have found that life has been tough for various reasons, in bits and pieces I might cope with them all, but one after another in a relentless overlapping procession has left me drained and in need of resources that bring life. 

Sometimes even those resources are hard to lay my hands on, but even then if I choose to be mindful the memory of them can be sustaining. I am reminded of the words of Psalm 139:

Where can I go from your Spirit?

    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens,you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

So I wonder,

  1. What brings you light in the dark places? One of our teens in the parish who has had a wonderful experience of God asked me a couple of weeks ago, "Does God ever seem far away?"  I smiled sort of ruefully and said:  "I am afraid that God is often feels like you are looking for him through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars."  She said, "How can I get that closeness back."  "YOU can't." I said.  "When you need the Holy again, the Spirit will come. Meanwhile you stay close to those who love God.  That is what real faith is."  I am not sure where that answer came from, but I have depended upon the Spirit for a long time now and I guess that is where it came from.  The light for this extrovert is nearly always with others who are also filled by that hope in the Holy.
  2. How do you connect/reconnect with God, and where do you find him/her holding you?
             Meditation is generally the way I get myself back to a place where God can get through to me.  I 
             need to find a way to find my own silence before I can hear or feel the Holy.  More often than not
             I can't control what or how God is going to attend to me.  Reconnecting is not my job; I just need to be faithful, to be there when God comes.  It is my willingness to wait that I call faith.  I trust the Holy will touch me sometime.  It may not be when I want it but it eventually comes when I NEED it.  The important thing is that I have to remain faithful--ready and waiting even when I am dry as a bone.
 3.  Is there a prayer/poem/piece of liturgy that speaks life/sustains you?
            You have already used one--Psalm 139.  Another is Sirach Chapter 2.

     4.   Is there a piece of music that lifts your heart?(share it or a link to it)
            I don't know how to link music or youtube so I will tell you:  I love classical music.  I put on the 
            classical radio station and that often will do the trick.  Sometimes I need to listen to Gregorian 
            chant, the Anonymous Four or even chant from different religious tradition.  Even sometimes the guttural sounds of Tibetan monks loosen the tension that allows me to open myself and wait for the silence of holiness.   Often it is very quiet music in the background that only serves to support my prayer rather than focus my attention.  I especially love the Brahms' Requiem, Mozart's Requiem, music that I have sung in choir for dog's years.  
      5.   Is there a place you run to (even in your imagination?Iona, Holy Isle, Taize, a trout stream, a lake, and most of those are in my imagination.  Sometimes it is just driving out in the West Texas plains on a day with billowing clouds and perhaps a thunder storm in the offing.  Getting to a place where there are few people or cars and allowing the silence to wash over me.  I often like being out in the weather--in the wind or rain (if it is not too cold).  To find a dry place and watch rain is very soothing.  Even as extroverted as I am, I love to go to these places alone for refreshment and the older I get the more I appreciate this quiet time since my life has been filled with busyness.  Even my home office has become a bit of a refuge in the midst of the illness of our household.
Bonus; Add pictures to any /all of these :-)


Sally said...

fantastic pictures, and as for Gregorian Chant, oh yes!!!

Terri said...


river song said...

Psalm 139, for every time and all times. out in the weather, too--peace!

Crimson Rambler said...

prairie roads and prairie skies, OH YES!