A few months ago, I wrote that I’d never been drawn to pastoral work, which isn’t quite true. Growing up in the church, “pastor” meant “middle aged white man.” Continue reading
Category Archives: reflection
What I realized when I went and sat on a mountain for weeks
At yoga camp, I started drinking water like it was my job.
Granted, I am living in an un-air-conditioned (fantastic) old house, and spending most of every day working out, so drinking water sort of IS my job. However: I kept up the obsession somewhat out of boredom and somewhat out of idle curiosity. Not every moment demanded my full attention (that’s my own ego’s opinion, not the truth), and I wondered, what would happen if I really drank those 8-10 cups of water every day for weeks?
Well. I’m here to tell you that it not only made my skin the clearest it’s been in 2 decades, but it’s curbed my addiction to sweets.
I think what is really going on is that I’ve been incorrectly diagnosing an evening hydration trigger for an evening sweet trigger. Sure, plenty of it is conditioning, but I’ve noticed that when my body is full of water, my tongue isn’t quite as overpowering in its cry for chocolate cake or ice cream.
It made me wonder–as my brain has been trained the last few weeks–how this translates to my larger life. If I perceive a need for water as a desired sugar buzz, I wonder if I am perceiving my soul’s cry for Living Water as a desired Netflix buzz. Perhaps saturation in the Scriptures would quell the tugging at the corners of my mind that most often drives me to a screen.
Maybe a bit of meditation or contemplation would relieve my parched spirit more than a sweet bit of comedy could ever hope to do.
Yesterday, a bunch of bodies showed up at the Statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina Continue reading
view on my walk home in Asheville
Though I have never been so lucky as to boast a collection of porcelain figurines with sad, tear-drop eyes, I do have a collection of precious moments, made all the preciouser when I take time to notice that I’m in the midst of one such moment. I thought this a lot when we were in France last summer, wanting to suck up every minute, not losing a beat, not shutting my eyes to any experience–even walking down the street.
It’s funny, though, the other times that strike me as precious in retrospect usually aren’t exceptional in the moment. Taking an early morning run on Duke’s West campus, walking down Morningside Drive to the place I housesat in Edinburgh, or stopping in at my favorite frozen yogurt store in St. Louis–these mostly mundane experiences are so sweet when I reflect on them now.
This evening I remembered that I’m in the middle of another such moment–this sacred time in the mountains, walking to yoga camp and back to the grocery store, hot, sticky days and cold showers to calm down for bed. Surely I’ll look back on these days with the same affection and warmth that other exceptional adventures have afforded me.
What’s even more important to realize, though, is that every moment has the capacity to be a precious moment. It doesn’t have to be a far-flung locale, a grand adventure, or any thing out of the “ordinary.” Every moment, if we approach each one with awe and expectation, can surprise, delight, challenge, and transform us–if we allow it and are open to the change we’ll undergo.
I’m reminded of the bit of the book, Screwtape Letters: the present moment is the point at which humans touch eternity. There is great possibility in meeting God, in experiencing growth, in celebrating something precious every single moment, if only we will hold and recognize each moment’s precious offering.
Back to the start
Here I am! Starting my yoga journey–or so I thought to myself tonight as I washed my face in my new home.
Then I realized, going to class tomorrow wasn’t the beginning. Neither was driving up to Asheville earlier today. It wasn’t signing up for this course in January, or even committing to complete this course 18 months ago, when my husband and I decided on this step in my journey.
Was it three years ago when I started practicing yoga again in earnest? Was it six years ago when I first thought I might want to be a yoga teacher? Was it seven years ago, the first time I stepped into a yoga class?
It’s hard to pinpoint the beginning, or to declare one moment that brought me to this place–but many moments contributed along the way, and whatever the defining moment was, I didn’t know it at the time.
What other journeys am I beginning now? What other “first” steps have I already taken that will lead somewhere I can’t imagine?
What sorts of habits am I cultivating or adventures am I seeking, taking new steps that might lead somewhere wonderful?
What kind of life are you building in your everyday decisions?