Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Screen Door Slamming...

I'm sitting at a cabin at the Kenlake State Resort Park, during a break while at our annual meeting of the fellowship of the orders of elders, deacons, and local pastors. This is our spring Spiritual Life Retreat for 2012. There is a little breeze blowing through the trees, filtered sunlight in the sky, and a sound that I have been inadvertantly blocking out for about the last 20 minutes.

I didn't even realize I was doing it.

This afternoon has been great, really. I got to get in a little trail time with some colleagues, who are also great friends. We hiked probably 3 miles or so. This morning's session was a good one. Lunch provided some great conversation with old friends, and now it's break time.

As I sit here on the screened-in porch at my cabin, I'm watching the waves dance on the Ledbetter Creek Bay of Kentucky Lake...thinking. I do that sometimes. Every now and then, not often mind you, but every now and then I'm able to stop for a few minutes, clear my mind, and just let the thoughts flow. It's really a much under appreciated moment, and honestly, goes completely unnoticed much of the time...but today I caught it.

As I'm listening to the birds and the waves, there is another sound screaming for my I dare let it in? To do so would be to shatter the beauty of the natural sounds I have been soaking in for the last few minutes...but it won't go away.

At this point I have a choice...I can begin to really pay attention to it, or I can ignore it and continue listening to the sounds of the winds, birds, and waves. Should I choose to let it in, it will overtake all that is beautiful around me. Yet if I ignore it, will it every really go away?

I choose to ignore it. "What is the sound?" you may is the sound of the screen door slamming. It's one of those noises that absolutely annoys the hell out of me. A shot of WD-40 might fix it, or I could get up and latch the screen door...or I can take this as the teaching moment it has become...sometimes there are some noises, or voices, in life that just need to be ignored...for a season.

It doesn't mean that they go away, or that at some point something doesn't need to be done to remedy the situation, but for the moment, I'm just going to be....and that's something I don't do nearly enough of.

So, screen door, slam in the breeze if you want. Make all of the noise you want to make. I choose, for this moment, to embrace the gaze out over the waves of Ledbetter Creek and watch the branches swaying in the breeze. I'm going to pay more attention to the sound of the gulls flying overhead, and watch the leaves sprout, and then in a bit...after my spirit has rested...I will get up and take care of you.

Why? Because the God that loves me, and that I love, calls to me each day, and this day I choose to reply..."Take me into the beautiful."


Friday, March 2, 2012

Spring Clean...

Yesterday was a day I look forward to every year, March 1. Oh I know that winter isn't exactly over yet, but it's getting close. Now we're through the (supposed to be) bitter cold of December and January, the wet snow of February, and moving on into the last few days of winter/first few days of spring.

The chorus frogs and spring peepers have been chirping for a few weeks, the irises are coming back out, and Narcissus blooms are everywhere. My absolute favorite time of the year, and yesterday I got to do one of my absolute favorite outside may not be your favorite, but it's one of mine.

I got the lawnmower out yesterday. I know, I know. "It's too early for that...You're neighbors aren't going to like that..." Well I do. Not only did I get the lawnmower out, but the weedeater too. And surprise of surprises, they both started.

Some folks get into spring cleaning their house, I spring clean my yard...have ever since I've had my own place. For me it's almost a spiritual thing. I mean, sure, my yard looks awesome now...all of the sticks have been picked up and piled, just waiting for a quick chance for a hot dog roast...the leaves have all been raked and piled...the grass is cut...shrubbery has been trimmed. But more importantly, and for me the spiritual part...all of the old dead stuff is gone, clearing a path for new growth.

Call me crazy, but I can even see theology in yard work. I'm pretty sure that most of the new plants would have found a way through the tangle of limbs and leaves that scattered the yard had I not done anything. I also know that most of us will find new beginnings amidst that mass of tangles in our lives, but why go through all of the unnecessary struggle?

If a pile of dead leaves and rotting sticks is keeping your irises from poking through the ground, get out your rake and clean it up. If there is something in your life that is preventing the growth of the person you were created to be, get rid of it.

Yeah, my yard looks pretty good now, but my soul feels better to.

Happy cleaning.