Tuesday, 17 December 2013


The photo that I have included today is one taken by a good friend of my brother Thom; his name is Bob McGauley and he is a devoted photographer, the sort that never goes anywhere without his equipment.  He and my brother have been collaborating in a form of ministry similar to our God Moments project.  Every day, he and Bob send out an email to subscribers, including one of Bob's photos and reflections from Thom.
This photo speaks volumes to me right now...it is a pointed reminder to me that actually causes me discomfort.  I look at that scene - a misty lake, a pair of muskoka chairs on a dock out over the water, no human being around...imagine the peace and quiet of that moment...and all I can say to myself is, "I am so NOT in that moment right now."

I am busy at this time...I am surrounded by busy-ness and business.  My calendar is full and my day planner has no vacant spaces.  I'm the one who made it that way and so there is some degree of intent involved.  But I feel that it's not the way it ought to be and I wonder to myself, how could you allow this to happen?  I know that part of me thrives on busy-ness, that I am fed by it and rewarded by it.  It's part of my conceit that there's not too many things I can't do, given enough time - and there are 24 hours in every day!  The one thing I can't do is cultivate the ability to get into the moment (or zone, or space...call it what you will) that I recognize in the photo.  I've been there before, on the Camino, but right now, it's hard to get there and impossible to stay there long enough to re-group and re-centre.

A good friend gave me a book in 2011; it's title is Psalms for Praying, by Nan C. Merrill.  The sub-title, which I have just noticed, is "An Invitation to Wholeness"; perhaps that's the place that I seek.  In the preface to the book, Nan Merrill writes, "to pray is to be transformed...just as light dispels darkness, fear cannot exist where love abides.  May the prayers of all who read, pray or sing the Psalms help awaken us to the Peace of the Beloved indwelling in every soul."  When I think about her wishes for me as a reader, I recognize that she's suggesting a way to get to the sort of moment that Bob McGauley captured in his photo.  It doesn't physically have to be in a deck chair on a dock out over a quiet lake - that might help, but it doesn't have to be that way.  The moment can be 100% internal, if we can be quiet enough, open enough, listen enough.  Nan Merrill wrote this:

But who can discern their own weaknesses?
Cleanse me, O Love, from all my hidden faults.
Keep me from boldly acting in error;
Let my fears and illusions not have dominion over me!

Then I shall become a beneficial presence,
freely and fully surrendered to your Love.
Pat <><

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