When paths cross, what are we to do?

When paths cross

When paths cross, what are we to do?

A morning walk in Fayetteville, AR, showed me amusing, enlightening intersections of paths.

The path of deciding

Sun was not yet visible yet the sky had opened to soft uncolor before bright yellow against calm blue. As I walked from residential streets into downtown, a crow perched on the curb’s edge twenty feet ahead. Its blackness had a deep purple-navy sheen. Its green-yellow eyes focused on an earthworm making its wiggly way from the street to the curb, oblivious to what awaited.

My conscience wrestled over whether to interrupt their drama, to save one’s life and extend the other’s hunger. At that moment the crow saw my approach, made four hops backward across the sidewalk. Its eye bounced from me to worm to me to worm. The crow was intent on staying safe and not missing a meal. The worm was intent on making it to the curb and the grass beyond.

Crow cocked its head, maybe confused, as I walked by and said, “Good morning! This is between you two.”

The path of admiring

Three blocks later I was at the city square: once Town Hall, still surrounded by beautiful shrubs and flowers. A man my age (I guess) rode by on his 10-speed. His hair and beard were matching gray, as if the faded blend of his white tee shirt and his black nylon shorts. His helmet, too, was black and white.

He pedaled steadily around the square, not fast. Into each corner he leaned carefully and kept his eyes ever on the road 20 yards ahead. He lapped the square four times as I walked along but one side. As we passed each other the fourth time, he lifted his gaze and smiled. I said, “Good morning! Good riding!”

I wonder how many more square laps he rode.

The path of gratitude

Some steps later, I was almost “home”. A cricket no bigger than my fingernail moved across the walk ahead of me. I paused to decide whether to wait and let it cross or to step ahead and remove its worry. I stepped ahead. As I had done for the crow and the rider, I smiled. And said, “Thank you for signing my morning walk!”

When paths cross: a prayer

Preparer of our Paths, we really are blessed
when another’s path crosses ours.
Need not be a human being and it is special
when it is.
The opportunity to share a greeting
or a smile or merely a nod of the head that recognizes
their existence and that it makes us glad and truly blesses us.
And lets us remember the beauty of our being,
of our existence, of our prosperity that this life is.
And when our path crosses that of some creature,
we get to acknowledge that the beauty of life
is not ours alone, is not for us only.
Thank you, Giver of this life, for the network of paths
we get to walk and follow and cross throughout our time.
And so it is. And so we choose to let it be. Amen

Love and blessings,
Tim

 

 

11 October 2018

 

Posted on October 11, 2018 at 5:13 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Prayer · Tagged with: ,

Peace in our political world

Seal of SCOTUS

Peace in our world

Spirit of All Good, I affirm my faith and confidence
in the power of Divine Order and Divine Being in all of us.
I affirm our political peace.

The time is right for peace in our political world. Many of us want a specific result from the US Senate’s vote to seat or not to seat someone as Supreme Court Justice. To ask for that is to intensify the sense of opposition that seems to be the crux of our political melee currently.

We have from You the wonderful freedom to have and even to express our opinions. As we are human and possess the human ego, different opinions lead to a right v. wrong division.

The advice to “Let go and let God” is often offered. The second half of that is hard when and if we are concerned that we must get our way for it is the right way. And perhaps the “let God” half is hard because we suspect that human, non-spiritual stuff like politics and Supreme Court appointments do not matter to You. And so, we should not let go.

But You do care, for we are Your creation, Your expression of what is divine. You may not care about the ins and outs and ups and downs the black and white and gray of our everyday stuff. But You do care that we are spiritually aware, even spiritually happy and in peace.

Whether You purposely teach us lessons by the things that sculpt our daily life, I’ll not guess. I do not doubt, though, that at least You give us opportunities to learn, to learn about our spiritual Being, about  configuration as I AM, about the ultimate joy of knowing and living the Oneness of You.

Praying for Political Peace

So, Ever Presence, I affirm as much to me
as to You that I am faithful
that any outcome in tomorrow’s Senate vote
is and will be for the best.
That is so no matter how difficult it is to see both sides
as best.

Power of our Being, I affirm with gratitude
the ultimate, the complete, the eternal Peace
of which all of us are made. And so
I affirm the Peace I AM
as present as every one of us
and as consciously allowing all of us
to see and be thankful it is in all of us.

Knowledge Supreme, You give us our wisdom
and You make True Knowledge possible for our God-minds.
That lets me know tomorrow’s results are entirely human.
Our Being—Peace, Love, Joy—allows us to see and be
beyond the separation our egos drive.

It is difficult, Sweet Spirit, to give thanks
for what allows the tumult present among us now.
Yet it is the powerful freedom with which You bless us
that allows the tumult to occur.
It is the wonderful faith with which You fill us
that allows us to anticipate the best of peace.
even political peace.
And so it is. And so we choose to let it be.
Amen.

Love and blessings,
Tim

 

 

5 October 2018

Posted on October 5, 2018 at 6:10 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Belief, Faith, God, Gratitude, Joy, Peace · Tagged with: 

It’s like falling off a log

Falling off a log became my idea of how we grow. That’s how I heard the minister as she explained that life is a series of Lessons that provide Opportunities that give us Gifts of knowing and growing. Falling off a LOG. And as I pondered the idea, I realized I’d been having just such an experience.

If I may offer a bird’s eye view…

The Lesson

Several years ago I hung two sturdy bird feeders from my backyard tree. They worked wonderfully. Birds feasted. I watched and adored.

Then one morning several months later I saw the lid of one feeder lying among most of the seed scattered on the ground. Squirrel(s) must be the culprit(s).

At Home Depot I bought ten large, heavy washers. I glued the washers into two pancake stacks of five washers each. I refilled the feeders and I placed one stack on top of each. Surely too heavy for the strongest of squirrels.

Birds feasted. I watched and adored.

The Opportunity

One morning a few weeks later I looked out and saw one feeder on the ground. Something–other than a squirrel?–must have swung, wobbled, or shaken the feeder off the hook that joined the feeder’s wire loop and the chain hanging from the tree.

Back at Home Depot I bought clasps to replace the hooks, clasps that no animal could detach from the chain. I assembled and rehung the newest solution.

Birds feasted. As I watched, I noticed that birds waste as much as they consume. As many seeds are pecked-and-cast-aside from the feeder as are eaten. And it was spring. The seeds on the ground invited deer–bucks and does and fawns–to dine on the seeds birds discarded. More to watch. More to adore.

The Gift

Time passed. One Saturday morning, the other feeder was on the ground. Its lid was intact thanks to the washers. The feeder’s wire loop and the final chain link were still clasped. The culprit had somehow dislodged a 12-inch S hook from the limb 10 feet up the tree. As a result, the entire project had fallen from the tree.

I didn’t rush to Home Depot. The next day, as I took a walk, I saw two adult deer having a minor tiff. I could not tell why.  It amazed me to see one deer go up on its hind legs, stand straight up in the air. That deer must have challenged the other because that other stood up on its rear legs, too. It  looked like the deer would start boxing at any minute.

However, the second deer discarded valor, dropped back to all fours and resumed feeding on acorns. Ah, that first deer stayed upright for a full minute. It pointed its head toward the lowest limbs in the oak tree. And that made me shift my guess as to the feeder-toppling culprit. Deer seemed as fond of the seed as the birds. An upstanding deer just might be able to knock the feeder down.

I knew exactly where the caribiners and shackles were at Home Depot. I bought four although I needed only two. No more S hooks. The chain is looped around the tree. No more clasps. A carabiner connects the feeder wire loop to the last chain link, presumably out of the tallest deer’s reach.

The birds are feasting. The deer are dining, too, though now on only what the birds let go. I am watching. And adoring.

Giving Thanks for Falling off a LOG

Creator of All, Presence in Everything,
thank you for allowing me to discover
and to accept to my Self
lessons that provide me opportunities to learn.
I so enjoy receiving the learning as gifts
that increase my awareness of your Presence.
The ease of learning is the wrapping around the gift.
The awareness of the joy
of falling off a log lets me cherish the interweaving
of living this human life and knowing your precious Presence.
And so it is. And so I thank you, God. Amen

Love & blessings,
Tim

 

 

12 September 2018

PS I’m sure you’ve read Portia Nelson’s poem, “There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk“, which she subtitled her “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters.” We have all experienced such learning situations. In my case, it often takes me just as many–if not more–falls in the hole before I decide to (spoiler alert) take another road.

Posted on September 12, 2018 at 6:59 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Prayer

Thrill rides with God!

Thrill rides at Silver Dollar City, near Branson, MO, recently gave Cindy and me the chance to shake off adulthood, sort of. It was my first time at a true amusement park in almost 50 years. Thrill rides have come a long way in that half-century. So have I. However, I discovered our long ways have gone in opposite directions.

The rides have been designed and redesigned to offer bigger, faster, scarier thrills. I have designed and redesigned myself to move more slowly, methodically, and with a greater calm engineered by 2 senses: heart- and common-.

By happenstance or divine guidance, we progressed from The Giant Barn Swing, a heart-clincher, through ever more chilling rides. When The Powder Keg ride ended, the eight-year-old in the seat behind us cheered, “I want to do that again!” As we exited seats on The Wildfire, a child grabbed his dad’s hand and said, “I won’t ever ride that again!”

The Time TravelerOur final ride, The Time Traveler, was the most intense.  ttttThe. Most. Intense.

The Time Traveler lasts less than two minutes. The total distance is less than a mile. The ride includes speeds up to 50 mph, a 10-story 90% (aka straight down!) drop, and three inversions (aka, upside down!!). When we finished, I heard someone say, “Thank you, God. Once is enough for me!”

I was hearing the voice in my head say that.

Time TravelerI had been spun and plummeted and turned upside down. My backside had lost contact with the seat as I hung by my thighs pressing the safety bar and my hands life-or-death clasping the hand rails. Amazing how many times I’d screamed, “Oh, God!” in less than two minutes.

And one breathless “Thank you, God!” when our car came to its blessed stop.

Why am I telling you all this? To share the fun? The thrills? The honesty of my fear? Yes to all of those. And more.

The several rides produced probably 60 Heart-Stopping Moments (HSMs)! And I’m telling you this to share that for every HSM, I was conscious that I was in God’s hands.

Now, I do not view God as the so-often elderly gentleman in flowing robes. So the “in God’s hands” phrase and image have always given me difficulty. I do not see God in any age or gender human form. Yet every time the coaster car crested a steep rise and I literally felt it fall out from under me, I reassured myself I was in God’s hands. When the ride took curves so tight and so slanted I felt sure we would leave the rails, God’s hands comforted me!

For me, there’s a double message in this. I love feeling God’s Presence in the non-adventure (but joy!) of walking down the street. I cherish knowing God’s embrace on whatever thrill rides life offers.

Thanks for the Thrill Rides

Maker of Thrills and Trust,
the wonder of your Presence–never ceasing
always embracing–sources and strengthens
my adventure, my courage, and my release.
Thank you for the willingness you feed me:
the willingness to face risks,
my willingness to enjoy faith,
and my willingness to let go in trust of You.
Whether the matter at hand is simply of no matter
or an endeavor including endless challenges,
your Presence ensures the ride will be thrilling
and satisfying in its outcome.
Thank you, Spirit, for the beautiful image
of resting in your Hand.
And so it is. Amen.

Love & Blessings,
Tim

 

5 September 2018

 

Posted on September 5, 2018 at 5:06 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Authenticity, Faith, God, Gratitude, Joy, Prayer, Strength · Tagged with: , , , ,