In his book, Following Jesus: Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety by Henri Nouwen, Nouwen says, “The great art of spiritual living is to pay attention to the breathing of the spirit right where you are and to trust that there will be breathing of new life.” Where is God breathing new life into yours?
Wilderness times: we all have them; they come in varying degrees; varying lengths of time; varying intensities. Some are easier than others to manage.
Forever the optimist, once I emerge from a personal wilderness, I am grateful and try to learn from it. One such wilderness time was when my brother died at 16, after a lifelong battle with various diseases. Forty years later, I’m still learning from this wilderness experience. But one immediate and lasting lesson from this wilderness period was the true appreciation of how special each day is. Each day is a gift from our loving God and He gives us the freedom to make what we will of each day. Again, I have varying degrees of success in maximizing each day; of experiencing and reflecting God’s love each day. But even on the bad days, where I am ungrateful and impatient, I am blessed by God to wake up the next day, with a renewed faith and trust in Him. With a chance to listen to His spirit, to be obedient to His urgings; to love His children.
My brother’s death taught me these lessons relatively early in my life. For these lessons learned, and for more lessons to come, I am endlessly grateful for that wilderness experience.
COLLECT OF THE DAY
Almighty and most merciful God, drive from us all weakness of body, mind and spirit; that, being restored to wholeness, we may with free hearts become what you intend us to be and accomplish what you want us to do; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
LISTEN TO PODCAST "SPIRITUAL BRIDGE PEOPLE"
Click below to listen to On Being's Krista Tippett interview with Bishop Michael Curry & Dr. Russell Moore.
LISTEN TO TEDX TALK "GOOD GRIEF! WHAT I LEARNED FROM LOSS"
Click below to listen to Elaine Mansfield tell her story of loss and explain the use of ritual as a tool for empowerment for life’s most challenging times.
Click on the link below to purchase today's suggested read: On Death And Dying by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.